It was the day when the public’s necessity to travel to look at art was over, at least temporarily. Dynamic forms were literally translated into motion; in their battery-propelled trek toward ever-changing interrelationships, these objects could eventually and perhaps inevitably seek out the viewer. A bit creepy? Not really to sculptor Robert Breer, who built a series of motorized polyhedrons.
Breer’s styrofoam objects, coated with glossy white acrylic paint and programmed to switch direction whenever they encountered resistance were intended to put emphasis on the change of position rather than motion itself; motion was a give, it was their seemingly random and non-linear movement that questioned assumptions, what was called mechanical uncertainty. Perhaps a reaction and defense mechanism against pathologies acting as a blockage to spiritual growth; they encounter, hover, and ultimately find some way to maintain mobility to seek their goal.
There are limitless possibilities of position; in some of Breer’s exhibitions in the 1960′s, some of the larger, say the bigger and more ambitious, determined ones, had to be physically restrained from departing the premises. Clearly, its conceptual art, modernism, but without the kind of disruptive terrorism of a Duchamp or the equally nihilistic collapsing of human form that the rage of Picasso was gouging out with a brush; this art is somehow connected to antiquity.
Robert Breer’s sculpture is a contemporary of the minimalistic geometric forms that symbolised the 1960s, along with the numerous experiments imbued with the spirit of performance, which appeared within the sphere of influence of John Cage and Merce Cunningham – artists frequented by Robert Breer on his arrival in New York. But during the 1960s, these Floats were not taken seriously. Were they? And would those glib critics of the ascendancy of the minimalistic sculpture of that period have been able to do so?
So it was to be another three decades before they made another appearance, again in New York, with the same energy and relevance, this time in collective exhibitions with artists of another generation.
And, just as they did in the 1960s, the Floats disrupted the measured order of exhibitions, projecting the visitor into a state of utter confusion, unable to tell which it was – out of the works of art, the building or himself – that had really moved. Read More:http://moussemagazine.it/robert-breer-and-bigminis-at-capc-bordeaux/