"I am in Paradize"
In the summer 1960 Manzoni arrived for the first time in "paradise". He came from an exhibition i Copenhagen at Addi Köpcke’s gallery. Aage Damgaard’s cooperation with Piero Manzoni, became a local initiative that got national and international attention and significance. The duo’s projects resulted a.o. in Piero Manzonis largest and most renowned of his in all 46 works in Herning Kunstmuseum; Socle du Monde.
Socle du Monde, the base of the earth, was made by Manzoni for Herning during his second visit in the city in 1961. The base refers symbolically –and with a sense of humor –to Herning as”the cultural base of the world”. It refers to the entire world as an art work and is the most global of Manzonis authentication projects. The base-name also refers to the ambition to let Herning’s element of solidity; the corporate world and the industry, support and promote the uncontrolled, wild and imaginative; the art and the culture. Manzoni’s Socle du Monde has in this way contributed to the Herning-citizens’ sense of self.
In Socle du Monde we wish to pair up artists and corporate businesses. Let them conclude in a ground breaking cooperation from which the result is unpredictable and normative for both the art and the corporate world. It could be said that the secondary and inevitable outcome of the cooperation will be a revealing of the very process that is the idea and conceptual backbone of Socle du Mondes.
The corporate world and the Arts has made many alliances through the course of history. The most famous of the character is found in the Renaissance cooperation between church and the arts. One can in a sense claim that Socle du Monde, in the same way as previous alliances, aims at promoting an ideology, a philosophy or a world view. We just do not know what?
In the 20th century examples are numerous but during the 1920s and again in the 1960s, at times when the ideological-related criticism of capitalism peaked, the relationship between art and industry deepened.
El Lizzitskys work for Pelikan in the 1920s was remarkable because communist ideology and industry was brought together. Where Lissitsky created the design and layout of marketing of Pelikan, Piero Manzoni was employed by Aage Damgaard in Herning with full artistic freedom. Manzoni let the Herning area’s local tradition of production of wool and cotton products fertilize many of his works.
In 1969 Øyvind Fahlstrøm was invited to produce works with local businesses in Los Angeles for the exhibition Art and Technology. Pop, minimalism and conceptual art had different and related relatiosships to the business world and production facilities. In contemporary art, there is nothing particularly qualitative or odios, much less sensational, in this form of cooperation. It takes place and will take place after the needs and opportunities.
Socle du Monde is as such a local expansion, formalization and systematization of a cooperation, which is already happening globally. A collaboration which in its simplest form,is concerned with the coexisting of art and corporate world and with producing in a commom space, on shared technical grounds.
The Socle du Monde Biennale’s strenght in global connection is the project’s strong physical and mental anchoring born out of the rich traditions of the Herning area – and in the decision to let the process happen in this local space. Herein lies the possibility for a concentration and intensification of the process that for a short moment will let the planet rest on a single, peripheral point.