ONE OF THREE MONOCHROMES
C4 Projects, Copenhagen 2015.
The Natural History of Birds is the first comprehensive, scientific publication on ornithology, written between 1770 and 1793, by the encyclopaedist, mathematician and naturalist George-Louis Leclerc. In it Leclerc i.a. writes about the vulture: The ferocity of the vulture is such, that it cannot be tamed. Sometimes it seizes it's prey in it's flight; at other times, it darts upon its victims from the top of a tree or elevated cliff; but always upon it's wing. It eats flesh, the entrails of living animals, and even carrion. It leaves nothing but the white bones.
Erased de Kooning Drawing is the title of an early, conceptual work by Robert Rauschenberg: An almost blank piece of paper in a simple frame. After Rauschenberg had produced a series of white monochromes, he decided to create an artwork in reverse, with an eraser. In 1953 he asked the already famous painter Willem de Kooning to donate one of his drawings for the purpose. The reaction to Rauschenbergs ikonoclastic piece has been described as a detonation that shook the artworld.
To kill a holy cow is a danish way of speaking, which means that one breaks with old traditions or viewpoints. The holy cows of India is a phenomenon, I got introduced to early on. Once in the 90's a horoscope of my life was written, in absentia, by an Indian astrologist in Delhi. During the same decade it was also observed that the stock of vultures in India had decreased with 90 percent, since the beginning of the 80's. The mass extinction was caused by antibiotics given to the cows to prevent diseases. The cows survived, but the meat was poisoned.
George-Louis Leclerc is regarded as the father of evolutionism, and Rauschenbergs piece has long since been inscribed in the arthistory of the 20th century with the same matter of course, as Westerners flock to India in search of the spiritual. White monochromes are on display, silent and enigmatic, in museums all over the world, while the holy corpses of the cows are rottening in the sun.
copyright anu ramdas 2020