Seth Price


At the Kunsthalle Zurich Seth Price debuts new work in a specific installation, together with selected pieces from the last few years. These include vacuum-formed plastic reliefs, crumpled mylar forms printed with video stills, and recent ‘silhouette’ compositions, based on negative spaces taken from low quality internet pictures of common human interactions, and crafted out of wood veneer and plastic using a fabrication technique developed for the purpose of creating a new “look and feel”: a design quality that had not previously existed, but very well could. Like much of his work, these pieces depend as much on industrial production methods as on digital sources and manipulation. In addition to sculpture, Price will exhibit a new video, Redistribution (2008), a constantly changing and never completed “rough draft,” designed to incorporate any potential materials. In this case it takes up a slide lecture Price recently delivered, as well as found documentary video and images.

At the Kunsthalle, Price's just-published book "How to Disappear in America" will be available for the first time, an excerpt of which follows:

I’m like a person who makes things. You do it one after another, unending. It goes on for such a long time: something new, and something else, and something something. Here come a lot of different varieties of strategies and arrangements, all interesting, all interlocking, mutatis mutandis. Such a lot of things!

After a while, there arises a question similar to this one: might it be possible that a person of, say, forty has seen just about all that has been and will be? Well, catch yourself. That would be an argument against progress. Let’s skip that argument. This is where we are. The bottom line is in fact use. You’re a person who uses things. Use demonstrates an attitude, and attitude is all. Period. ‘Nuff said.

At some point in the past, all production was for use, rather than for gain (unless use is a kind of gain). But even if we acknowledge that use was the foundation of Christian morality, conventional social mores have since given rise to principles so general and generally agreeable as to be acceptable to everyone. In other words, whatever concepts you signal through your making of things, you end up sanctifying the current state of affairs. Anyone who gazes upon your products might well wonder: “Must I consult some picture or trinket to learn that power corrupts, desires are commodified, control is paramount, subjectivity is administered?”

As if with a twist of the kaleidoscope all would become clear, splinters join, new scapes hove into view.

Kunsthalle Zürich thanks: Präsidialdepartement of the city of Zürich, SwissRe, Luma Stiftung