Les Guirlandes, 1982 - 2017

Miami Beach 2017
Pennants, loudspeakers
Daniel Buren’s Les Guirlandes (The Garlands) is a restaging of his historic work that debuted at Documenta 7 in 1982. The work features decorative striped flag garlands strung from 32 palm trees. From loudspeakers one hears fragments of music – arranged in chronological order according to composer, from the baroque of Jean-Baptiste Lully to the ragtime of Scott Joplin – that are systematically interrupted by the recitation of words for colors in fourteen languages. The work parodied the simplistic framework of Rudi Fuch’s Documenta, and in an article published in the renowned art journal October (No. 30, 1984), author Douglas Crimp criticized the show’s catalogue, noting its arrangement of participants in date of birth order. Buren’s work, however, is also a pointed critique of the era’s widespread nationalism. Buren redefines existing environments with site-specific works, and Les Guirlandes evinces a light-hearted, albeit satirical tone in the midst of Art Basel.