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Cave, Installation, 2012
at The Swiss Studio
903 N Damen Ave Chicago
by Detektiv Bureau:
Nadine Gerber and Mathis Pfäffli

Drop Cloth Plastic, Acrylic Paint, Rope, Zip Ties, Spray Glue, Mattress, Stool, Light

Time Period: 1.10.12 – 31.10.12
Exhibition: 25.10.12 / 26.10.12

Ever since, besides their functions as shelters and housing in the early time of human existence, caves were spaces for extraordinary and elementary experiences.
    Over one month we built up a large scale installation at the Swiss Studio Chicago. The installation grew constantly and slowly took over our whole living space.
    We used rope, hooks, paint and plastic drop cloth—the material which is normally used to avoid color spills while painting walls or objects—to built the cave installation. By covering the transparent plastic sheets with rough, colorful and gestural painting, we received a diverse, rich and at the same time organic surface we could oppose to the mostly decent, clean and neutral apartment walls in living spaces and to the sterility of the artificial nature of the material itself. The cave became a huge three dimensional painting.
    Plastic is a loved and hated material at the same time. It's omnipresent and therefor significant for our time. By using this cheap and not lasting materials, by painting with acrylic paint on plastic surfaces, we produced a temporary beautiful object based on non-ecological material, which leads to a huge amount of waste.
    The cave is meant to function as a space for imagination and memory as well as opening associations and opportunities concerning our everyday environments. Being situated in an actual living room and not in a art space, a gallery or a museum, the actual function and context of the space remains underneath the art cover. We also kept the most rudimental infrastructure of a living space by putting a bed, a stool and light inside the cave. The bathroom was accessible and working as well. Like this, the cave becomes also a significant for all those carefully built up secret spaces, and cosmoses behind locked apartment doors and points to peoples urge to decorate and define their living spaces.
    In the nighttime the cave appeared as a huge colorful crystal in the windows and on the balcony towards the street.

Credits: Jakob Kirch supported us by the realization of this project. Thank you!