Untitled (Bicycle), 1974

Basel 2017
Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Bicycle and wooden floor
70.0 x 250.0 x 160.0 Size (cm)
27.6 x 98.4 x 63.0 Size (in)
In this seminal work Caniaris addresses issues of contemplation and observation and represent an acute vision of social, cultural and personal asymmetries for pathological symptoms in industrialized societies, such as the Gastarbeiter (Eng.: migrant worker). With Caniaris' seminal environments from the 1970's we observe a shift of the aesthetic experience from the isolated autonomous object to "works in space". Non-artistic material, which during the previous decade had been used in a complex way and structured in the framework of objects attached to a wall or hanging in space, were now organized into broad wholes, into "syntagms" of sculptural units based on the dimensions of real space, in which they were being presented. Nevertheless, the figurative structure of the environments appeared fragmentary and loose, without uniform chronological and narrative connective tissue. There is also the fact he permitted the sculptural subwholes to be easily removed from the larger body and to function in new environments. The architectural dimension was incorporated, each and every time, into the logic of the work, as one finds in most works in situ. In this sense, Caniaris' environments do not constitute closed representative systems. On the contrary, they are open to continual scenic reconstructions -and consequently interpretations-, retaining as the constituent element of their structure its open character.