Lot 3
  • 3

Walead Beshty

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  • Walead Beshty
  • Copper (Large Framed Art Box 63721; 2011 FedEx 163098 REV 7/11), FedEx International Priority, Los Angeles-Amsterdam trk#799869763356, May 29 - June 3, 2013, International Economy Freight, Amsterdam - London, trk#797454341480, Dec 20 - 23, 2013
  • polished copper, accrued FedEx shipping and tracking labels
  • 12 by 125.5 by 93cm.; 4 3/4 by 49 3/8 by 36 5/8 in.
  • Executed in 2013.

Catalogue Note

From the 1950s onwards, Postal Art was a way for artists to bypass the rules of the art market and distance themselves from public institutions. Subsequent generations saw this method as a tool to explore new ways that would allow them to reinvent both spatial and temporal associations typical of interactive works of art.

In this context, Walead Beshty's Fedex boxes present much ingeniousness. The copper box is transported between studio and galleries, not by specialised art transport but by international mail services. Whilst in transit the work can get damaged, labels added and removed with no apparent care. The cracks, scratches and dents represent the footprints of the object's journey. The process of travel physically redefines the object and thus emphasises that structural qualities also depend on context. Time and place changes the way we perceive something each time.

The Fedex box's dimensions are patented and are a general unit of space. Acting as a critical glimpse at the customary systems of art production and distribution, the works not only function as a physical representation of their transit, but also the number of impacts and cracks on the sculptures add to their creation as much as their destruction. It is with such works that Walead Beshty invites us to travel through time and space.