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Otis Laubert

Knowing They Are Losing Their Heads


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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From the series Animal Plastic, toy animals are glued to mirrors. Their reflections show just bodies because the heads are gone. Otis Laubert created nine separate works. He worked with everyday objects, the materials themselves determining the direction each piece took. Several of his works were inspired by the architectural elements of the gallery, such as the brick walls and star-shaped beam bolts.


Artists of Central & Eastern Europe: October 29, 1995 – April 28, 1996
About The Artist

"The work of Otis Laubert represents one of the few authentic values of Slovak art in the past twenty years. He is an isolated and specific artistic phenomenon of alternative art, of the conceptual and flux, of visual poetry, and of ready-made and found objects in particular. Beyond these notions, there is a hidden, live, open, and topical substance of art, which is more than any other form based on process. By its style and means of expression, his work created an artistic parallel to everyday life. It is its visual reflection and commentation at the same time. His works are created from things among which utilitarian objects and their fragments prevail, but part of his creation goes beyond this, into the cultural and artistic spheres, or into their materialization." – Alena Vrbanova

"The real problem of Otis' work is his way of presentation. We know artists, who in a small collection present everything they endeavor. With Laubert it is different: 'He is better, the more of his works are together', as I once wrote somewhere. It is not a bonmot, but an attempt to express the fact that his creation has a high degree of summarizing, of complexity, that his works (of various types) are related to each other, react to each other, comment, and complement each other and express various aspects of the artist's interest only in their mutual relations. When we see only one cycle, we may be interested in a single aspect, maybe the radicalism of the persiflage or the purely plastic humorousness of the idea, but this one aspect could easily lead us away from understanding the whole, from the very sense of complexity. We could say Otis' major summarizing work is his deposit - the collection of various objects, originating around 1965 and containing thousands of things ordered according to certain rules." – Jiri Valoch

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