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Streets, parks and signing are the basic materials of Leopold Kessler’s often Minimalist sculptures and performances. In "Service Active/Passive" (2007) the artist begins by earning a little money washing windscreens in New York, then "redistributing" the takings to the cleaning staff of a number of restaurants: a seemingly anodyne system which in fact raises some basic questions regarding the redistribution of wealth. In "Import" (2006) Kessler smuggles a packet of cigarettes from Budapest to Vienna by hiding it on the outside of the train linking the two cities. "Lucky Day" (2009) plays out a pseudo-confidence trick near the Louvre, with people pretending to find a gold ring which they then offer to the artist. Only the parts of the film having to do with this strange offer are shown by the artist, even if the logical extension of the story requires that the unknown donors demand money in exchange for the ring. Creating an expectation, then following up with a let-down – this is the key to his "Phantom Terrace", situated on the Saône embankment just outside the entrance to La Sucrière: a bar, tables and chairs, but nobody to serve the potential customer, who can just go on waiting and waiting.

With the support of Fermob / With the support of Lombard-Freid Projects, New York; the IFA, Stuttgart.

Films, 2006-2009
Photos: Blaise Adilon
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