chronological | Artists |

Jannis Kounellis

1.12.1991 – 29.2.1992
Twelve empty hooks are stuck, like coat hooks, in the back wall of the Synagogue. Each spacing between one hook and the next was chosen as to make the shadows they cast longer and longer. Three enormous, roughly hewn beams have been placed vertically in the room, the layout of their bases forming the corners of an equilateral triangle. The beams appear to support the ceiling and balustrade of the Synagogue. At the same time, three heavy boulders, remindful of capitals, have been provisionally fastened on top of the beams.

There is a motion running from the top toward the bottom, and from the bottom toward the top: The ceiling and the balustrade are pressing down onto the beams as if the building (and that which it stands for) called for this sort of support despite its recent refurbishment. At the same time, the beams are lifting the boulders upward, a force that seems to balance the pressure of the ceiling onto the columns, bringing about a “grave” state of levitation. The triangle formed by the beams is written in an obstructive way into the room, and rather than aligning itself with the existing symmetry of axes, it is almost painfully caught in the symmetry, having been pushed out of it.

Twelve coat hooks (the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve Apostles), the triangle (Trinity, and a part of the Magen David), the religious or hierarchical categories of up and down, heavy and light, boulder and beam (the column, and the cross), commence their gravitational circle dance of political, religious symbolism. The representatives and variants of the iconographies of two major world religions, are cancelling each other out, analyse each other, appraise each other, and keep recreating themselves. All things considered, the installation thus eludes any specific interpretational definition even as the individual components remain symbolically charged.

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Diashow (4 Pictures)