Where Friðfinnsson lined the inside of his box/sculpture with black paper, Pieroth painted the inside of her box/sculpture white. Where he only changes the color of the interior base and sides of his boxes, Pieroth includes the inside upper flaps of her box in the transformation. Jose Dávila also treated the inside upper flaps as part of the interior in his gold-plated boxes.
But, on second thought, I think I’ve found a better angle.
Looking at the box she’d painted, I assumed (at first) that it was a consumer-product shipping carton. I searched for the German brand name printed on the box, however, and discovered that it was nothing of the sort.
Realizing now, what type of box this is, I decided to approach it differently. Comparing it to Friðfinnsson’s box with the black interior didn’t seem so interesting.
More about the original box and the (possible) insight it offers, after the fold…
Not being German, I had never heard of zapf umzüge and had never seen their boxes. Nor had I ever heard of its founder, Klaus Zapf, who died in 2014.
… There is a Lenin statue … Klaus Zapf had them set it up there in the gravel, between customer parking and carton sales. Yellow containers and trucks are standing around the Lenin, it is the forwarding yard of Zapf Umzüge [Berlin] …
From here, Klaus Zapf has built one of the largest relocation companies in Europe.
Alexander Mühlauer, “Whimsy Despot,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, August 21, 2014
Zapf, famous as “the German millionaire who shunned wealth,” was once quoted as saying, “I don’t need money. It just makes us unequal.”
Why this particular Umzugskarton?
As a German, Pieroth would have been familiar with their Umzugskartons (moving boxes).
There are numerous photos to be found on the company’s website attesting to the importance of the boxes…
Although I can find no discussion online of Pieroth’s choice to use a Zapf Umzüge Umzugskarton for her 2011 sculpture, I can speculate.
In a review of her 2013 exhibit with Tamara Henderson, Paul Teasdale of Frieze Magazine described Pieroth’s work as a “critique of consumer capitalism, ” stating further that her “witty conceptual sculptures often explore the relationship between art and money, value and commodity.”
Was Pieroth thinking of Klaus Zapf, the ambivalent kapitalist when she chose this particular box?
Housing, fresh paint and floor space
Why paint the interior white? Is the box a metaphor for housing? A new apartment where you relocate, rent and repaint?
Regarding the title, I wasn’t familiar with the “qm” but I now gather that it stands for “Quadratmeter.” Which is the same as a “square meter.” So the title expresses the 2-dimensional “square” area of the box, rather than its cubic volume. Similar to the way one might describe the area of an apartment.
Or was Pieroth commenting on the-art-gallery-as-a-white-box?
Then again (for all I know) she may have used Zapf Umzüge’s services to send the empty box (with its white-painted interior) from Berlin to Milan with instructions about how it was to be exhibited.
She had done something along similar lines with her 2002 sculpture, Mein Flug über den Ozean.
Since the artist could not personally travel to an exhibition in New York, she decided to make the absence the subject of her participation in the exhibition.
Mein Flug über den Ozean [“My flight across the ocean”] is the title of the first German edition of the book by Charles Lindbergh, from his legendary solo flight over the Atlantic in 1927. Kirsten Pieroth sent the book, bounded with a cord and stamped with postage stamps, by airmail the reverse way across the Atlantic to the gallery.
You cannot find very many photos of “0,175 qm” but it does appear a few times in a video of Marcello Maloberti‘s performance entitled: Doppietta.
In this performance two men dressed in Italian military garb (each wearing a Cappello Alpino) crawl back and forth throughout the opening of the Segalega exhibit. Several times they pass by Pieroth’s floor sculpture. (An excerpt is shown below.)
See: the full Doppieta video
For more about Kirsten Pieroth’s work, see also: jars, bottles, books & the NY Times