Franz Erhard Walther should be far more widely known in the US than he is. Since the late 1950’s, he has developed a language around the activation of fabric-based sculptures, using them not in “performances” but in what he calls “demonstrations”. When being demonstrated, his objects are in their “handlungsform”, their active situation, and when functioning as static sculpture they are in their “lagerform”, their storage situation. Here, Walther demonstrates the “reading” of an edition of his Grosses Prozess-Buch (Large Process-Book), made in 1969 in conjunction with his First Work Set, a suite of fifty-eight usable sculptures made between 1963 and 1969. At 77, Walther’s persistence in kneeling and using the object himself despite the strain of this exertion brought me to tears (visible in the background of the video if you look closely.) Demonstration begins at 14:20 (GH)
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