Upon entering the 2009 Scope Art Fair in Miami, I was surprised to find on the first booth to my right what was, at first glance, framed blank pieces of paper. These were displayed with an old and used pink eraser encased in a plexiglass box. However, upon closer inspection of these apparently empty works, I could see the faint tracings of drawings. With an even closer look at the work, the frames held at the bottom what was the remains of a used eraser. This was most definitely nothing like any other work in the fair. This was the solo show of Swiss and Croatian artists Comenius Roethlisberger and Admir Jahic. The story behind the work is definitely something to talk about.
In June 2009, the artist duo bought, under the guise of an anonymous Swiss collector, an eraser from Princess Diana’s schooldays. The large eraser displayed on its surface the phrase For Big Mistakes. Making use of this object for its rightly purpose, Jahic and Roethlisberger drew different portraits of Princess Diana and Prince Charles with a pencil, and then erased them to a large extent with the above mentioned eraser. While erasing them, the artists collected the graphite relics of the portraits and placed them in the frames of the drawings. A comment on portraiture and its vanishing significance? Or perhaps a reflection on how images of pop-culture icons should be erased from contemporary art?
Comenius Roethlisberger and Admir Jahic have been invited numerous times by SCOPE to its New York and Miami fairs. They have exhibited their work internationally in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Germany, including the Brot Und Spiele gallery in Berlin, Luis Adelantado Gallery in Valencia, as well as the Contemporary Art Museum in Madrid and the Kunsthalle in Prague and the Kunsthalle in Mulhouse. They are the recipients of the PhotoSpain 2004 Newcomer of the Year Award.
Images provided by the artists
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