See Yves Klein’s Never-Before-Performed Work at Independent Projects

Yes, the piece includes nude models.

Yves Klein, Sculpture Tactile (1957). Photo: Courtesy Dominique Lévy.

Yves Klein, Sculpture Tactile (1957). Photo: Courtesy Dominique Lévy.

Strolling through Independent Projects, a new event by Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook that is at once an “art fair, an exhibition, and a curatorial platform” (per their website), and an offshoot of their original Independent fair (“See Independent Hosts a Winning Mix of Galleries“), two installations caught our attention. Yves Klein‘s Sculpture Tactile (1957) at Dominique Lévy‘s booth and Haroon Mirza‘s Access Boot (2014) at Lisson Gallery.

Sculpture Tactile was conceived by the artist in 1957 but the presentation here marks the first time ever the work is being performed.

“The Sculpture tactiles were never exhibited,” Klein wrote in his journal. “I don’t remember exactly why, especially because I had talked about them so much. They were boxes with two holes, and sleeves. The idea was to be able to reach in through the sleeves of the holes with your hands till the elbow, and touch, feel the sculpture inside without seeing it.”

“Beautiful Nude Models, With Generous Curves, of Course”

Situated in the adjacent room to the artist’s original smaller prototype, visitors at the fair are invited to stick their hand in an elevated box with two circular entry points—when we put our hand in one of the mysterious black holes, we touched a person who was nude and curled up in the tiny box. Naturally, people who likewise put their hand in the hole responded by jerking their hand away. Needless to say, it’s incredibly strange to unexpectedly feel a live person, sitting in a closed off box, whose face you can’t see. At the time when Sculpture Tactile was created, Klein decided not to show it because he thought it would be too radical. But he did state that he would have placed in the box, “beautiful nude models, with generous curves, of course.”

Curator Begum Yasar told artnet News that because it was the first time the gallery was presenting at the fair, she wanted to show work that was young and performance-based, in other words, something a little more edgy than a painting or sculpture. Unlike other works at the fair, this one isn’t actually for sale.

Equally as captivating and even more sensationally delightful was Haroon Mirza’s sound and light installation Access Boot (2014) at Lisson Gallery’s booth. The work by the British artist and DJ is partly inspired by a 1990 Acid House single created by DJ Misah and DJ Tim titled Access. The installation also incorporates a particularly stormy scene from the classic German war film Das Boot, which plays on a loop on an old television set. Using “found sounds” such as an old-fashioned ringing telephone and electronic feedback noise from the LED lights lining the room, Mirza creates a space that evokes an industrial nightclub in a submarine, awash in a shade of blue that is strikingly similar to that favored by Klein—a real trip.

The video below will give you a glimpse of Access Boot, but we highly recommend experiencing it for yourself.

Independent Projects will run until November 15, 2014. It will remain after as an art show for an undetermined period of time.

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