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Hal Foster

Cyprien Gaillard, The Recovery of Discovery, 2011, cardboard, glass, metal, beer. Installation views, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Photos: Uwe Walter.

YOU ENTERED KW THROUGH A COURTYARD, then walked down a narrow corridor to a viewing platform. Below you, in a basement gallery, was a large pyramid of blue boxes perfectly stacked—if, that is, you happened to be the first one to the opening. By the time I got there, the pyramid was still intact but its contents had been ransacked, for the boxes held seventy-two thousand bottles of beer free for the taking and giving, drinking and disposing. By the end of the show, the ziggurat was a ruin, a mound of soggy cardboard with a perimeter of broken glass, like a funeral pyre in a Berlin club after a two-month-long bash.

Cyprien Gaillard, a Parisian artist based in Berlin, imported the beer from Turkey. Common in Germany, the brand was Efes, which is the Turkish name for Ephesus, the ancient Greek city in Asia Minor famous for its Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the

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