Ralf Peters

Galerie Mosel und Tschechow

Wrestling with the spatial nature of so-called installation art, Ralf Peters attempts to use the models of Conceptual art without limiting himself to merely documenting and sketching his works. In attempting to liberate himself from institutional, topographic, and social frames, while still producing works that speak of his ideas, Peters developed a system of models entitled “64 Modelle” (64 Models, 1993–95). He expressly designates these models as commodities, packs them in semitransparent film, and stacks them chaotically as if in a warehouse. On the wrapping there is a brief description of the goal of the installation. But even the models are made of a kind of packing cardboard, as if they were always ready to be moved. The packages of art can be acquired for two different prices: the packaged model can be purchased for a fixed price, but once the buyer wishes to obtain the copyright for the idea the price becomes negotiable. The plethora of objects actually transforms Peters’ piece into a mockery of contemporary installation art since only the catalogue serves as a summary of all the works.

Consumption—figured here by the innumerable possibilities of arranging these objects into an installation—trails behind artistic production. Thus, Peters searches for adoptive parents for the individual works, cryptic drawings that visualize the individual installations. With the purchase of one set of drawings, the buyer automatically becomes the “parent” of an installation, and his name will be entered in the catalogue. In their abstractness, these drawings become symbols of the commodity.

Justin Hoffmann

Translated from the German by Charles V. Miller.