A barrel so out of sight
Gustavo Mendez-Liska, Venezuelan with Austro-Hungarian roots, dissects to the hilt what was put together to be preserved: a barrel ofof Vinsanto.
He then applies the wooden barrel staves to a canvas in a row. Serial art? Arte Povera? Minimalism even?
The question of how to distinguish a work of art from a barrel or a bottle dryer was more hotly debated in the 20th century than ever before. In his famous book “The Transfiguration of the Ordinary”, the American philosopher Arthur C. Danto tried to clarify it: It is not from the work itself, but only from its context that it becomes clear whether a disassembled barrel can be considered a work of art.
In order to test this theory in practice, we have examined the 2008 assemblage by the artist Mendez-Liska in a gallery.
In democratic times it is up to the visitor to look with his own eyes and have an art experience, or not. But if you close your eyes and smell the the keg, will never doubt that at least with fine beverage, the barrel, the wood and the production are all important at the production process .
Text © Obsthof Brennerei Retter