Not Vital

Modell Für Schlafendes Haus

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Modell Für Schlafendes Haus

Modell Für Schlafendes Haus

Press release

SCHLAFENDES HAUS [sleeping house] is a 10m-high conical structure mounted on a movable metal plate which allows the sculpture to be raised and lowered with the aid of a built-in worm gear. Just like a living creature, the house gets up in the morning and lies down to sleep in the evening. To accompany the unveiling of the SCHLAFENDES HAUS in the sculpture park of the Museum of Modern Art, the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is showing the models created for the construction of the sculpture.

The 80cm-high models for the SCHLAFENDES HAUS are made of mirror-finished chromium steel - some painted in monochrome, in the primary colours red, blue or yellow.

For more than ten years, Not Vital has been working on large-scale sculptures. The most recent of this group, SCHLAFENDES HAUS (2009), was preceded in Agadez (Niger) by MEKAFONI (2000), the horned house MAKARANTA (2004), the Koran School and DAS HAUS UM DEN SONNENUNTERGANG ZU BEOBACHTEN [the house for watching the sunset] (2005). The rectangular horned house, which extends over an area of some 2,000 m_, houses the artist, his guests and colleagues. In the Koran School, built next to the Mekafoni, children from Agadez learn the Koran, languages and arithmetic. In contrast to those other houses, the HAUS UM DEN SONNENUNTERGANG ZU BEOBACHTEN is more of a walk-in sculpture with the sole function of being a place to watch the sun set. In his sculpture park in Sent (Switzerland), Vital built a house that dispenses with the usual rooms for living in; its appeal is purely aesthetic and poetic. It has a triangular ground-plan and by means of a hydraulic construction can, at the press of a button, disappear into the ground. The camouflage is completed by a turfed roof, so that the entire house is invisible when it has been lowered. Similarly, the SCHLAFENDES HAUS - not conceived for living in - is equipped with a motor for raising and lowering it.

Not Vital (*1948) was born in Sent, a village in Engadin, eastern Switzerland. He now divides his time between Sent, Beijing, New York, Chile and Agadez (Niger, Africa). His artistic work began in the 1970s, but it was only in the early '80s that he turned to sculpture. His œuvre ranges from sculptures, objects and multiples to drawing and engraving; his materials range from plaster through glass to costly materials such as bronze, marble and gold.