Cyprien Gaillard: 'The Recovery of Discovery' in Berlin

Installation view before opening of Cyprien Gaillard: 'The Recovery of Discovery' of 2011 (c) the artist courtesy KW



The Berlin based French artist Cyprien Gaillard  (* 1980) did a great installation at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Germany. It questions the way the Western society has been handling  cultural heritage of other peoples. There are references to the reconstruction and relocation of the Pergamon altar from 159 b.C. to Mueseumsinsel Berlin in 1876.


Mr. Gaillard had 72,000 bottles of 'Efes' brand beer transported from Turkey to Germany and made a stepped pyramid out of these beer boxes. Efes means in Latin 'Ephesos' and is also a reference to the ancient Greek town Ephesos and its temple. Today, the remains of this temple can be found scattered in museums in London, Vienna, Selcuk, Izmir, Istambul and Efes.



Installation view at the last day of the show by Cyprien Gaillord 'The Recovery of Discovery' of 2011 (c) the artist, photo by Premier Art Scene


At the opening, the audience was invited to help themselves from the beer pyramid. The discovery of the monument and its following consumption destroyed it - that's a great metphor for the colonial use of foreign works of art or mass tourism in general.


Mr. Gaillard's progenitor of land art, Robert Smithson, would certainly have loved the ephemeral nature of this work!



Way to the installation by Cyprien Gaillard 'The Recovery of Discovery' of 2011 (c) the artist, photo by Premier Art Scene


I went to see the show at the very last day and was surprised to see, that there was still something left of its original pyramid structure. It gained a certain popularity among young Berlin tourists to fetch a warm beer at an exhibition hall for free. And it was once again embarrassing to see how childish men behave even in the sheer presence of beer...



by Chris Neuschler



Cyprien Gaillard: 'The Recovery of Discovery' at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin


From 27 March - 22 May 2011



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