new-york

Haim Steinbach, western hills, 2011, plastic-laminated wood shelf, ceramic cookie jar, aluminum garbage can, wooden stacking toy, 41 x 21 1/2 x 62 1/4".

Haim Steinbach

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Haim Steinbach, western hills, 2011, plastic-laminated wood shelf, ceramic cookie jar, aluminum garbage can, wooden stacking toy, 41 x 21 1/2 x 62 1/4".

In an interview published in Artforum’s April 2003 issue, Haim Steinbach discussed what he saw as the ideal system for pricing what he made: “I devised a formula by which there would be a price for the work—plus the price of the objects. Let’s say a shelf has three cornflakes boxes and six ceramic ghosts on it. If the ceramic ghosts are $10 apiece, that’s $60; the boxes, at $2 each, would make $6, bringing the total of the objects to $66. So if the price of a given work is $12,000, that’s $12,066.”

The artist’s mode of reaching a price point is worth remarking on, because it lays the foundation for an ontological question. If, as Steinbach has it, the price of “the work” is distinct from that of “the objects” that largely comprise that work, just where, we might ask, does the art begin and end? More specifically, were one to subtract the (rather paltry, at least in value)

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