Martin Honert

Tente, 1991

This work, subtitled Model for an Outdoor Sculpture depicts a tent set on a piece of land covered with grass and moss. However, if Tente uses the image on a small scale, it does not altogether refer to the simple nomadic shelter as its title would seem to imply, but rather asserts a non-architectonic dimension, while at the same time playing on a series of ambiguities: is the object a pure model-maker’s project, a prototype, or alternatively research to do with a sculpture in the offing? Inspired by an advertisement for the “Klepper” sports brand, the work refers to a common- or-garden reality, but one wrenched from its context, like an image accompanying the definition of a word in the dictionary. It also refers to the world of childhood which informs Martin Honert’s oeuvre. For its part, the painstaking manufacture of the objects questions the know-how, imitation and gap separating copy from original, issues inherent to art history. A model of a tent seems “useless” as an “architectural project”, because this shelter is merely temporary and moveable, to such an extent that it does not require any study prior to the decision to build it. In 2001, Martin Honert produced this sculpture on a 1:1 scale, first of all outside, then inside an exhibition gallery, emphasizing once more the ambiguous status of this object.

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