MANFRED PERNICE, 2B Dosenwelt
installation view at Kunstmuseum St.Gallen
image courtesy of the artist and Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, photo: SEBASTIAN STADLER
MANFRED PERNICE is best known for his cans (dosen) pieces which consist of cylindrical sculptures made out of low-budget materials such as plywood, laminated fiberboard or cardboard. These works are very often set on wheels and are temporarily assembled together into ‘can fields’ for exhibitions. PERNICE is always loading these cans or containers with historical, social, but also personal references.
When I began making the cans, I didn’t have a precise idea of where they would go. The cans seemed banal, but now I’m happy to have them. In my work, making cans is an attempt to create a kind of order, even in a nonsensical way. The can is a working process, a tool or method for dividing up elements into separate parts that can subsequently be brought together in different ways. Some cans are numbered, and these numbers reappear on the walls beside photographs and texts that I have collected, establishing certain relationships with history. When I place the cans together in a given room, it’s like creating a chemical reaction that will affect the various elements in unknown ways. I’m curious to see how the cans will work in a particular space—and that goes for the contents of each can as well as how they relate to one another. Since the cans are movable and can be linked to any set of found documents, they offer many possibilities for seeing how events react upon one another. – MANFRED PERNICE in conversation with JENNIFER ALLEN, Artforum