A little blue ball. I walk over to it to see the room-installation by Rodrigo Hernandez for Raum für aktuelle Kunst in Luzern from this almost centre, but off-centre point. It is hanging in front of my eyes, like a third eye, but instead of enabling me to see the installation, consisting of six objects that I’m surrounded by, it is doing something else. It is making me feel, to loosely quote Rene Magritte from Les mots and les images (which Hernandez shows in the other room as referential material), that “there are others behind it”. But I cannot see them, which is disorienting. And the little blue ball itself also refuses to be seen – in a similar way to Op Art and Kinetic Art. A gesture of the simplest technology pointing out something about this installation that remains out of reach.
For a second, you might be put onto another track when seeing the material in a separate “documentation” room, usually used for the opening cocktail. There is a table upon which drawings, notes, photocopies of references and maps are placed under glass plates – a second installation by Hernandez. Especially his drawing of the origin of his six objects, obliquely deriving from some of the art works in Harald Szeemann’s When Attitudes Become Form (1969), triggers a detective process. As if it was about finding out that the two empty paper cups, one placed inside of the other on the floor, echoes Bill Bollinger’s “Pipes”, two identical objects placed onto the floor in Szeemann’s show. But soon enough, and luckily so, this map, seen along the rest of the material, refuses to be understood as a conceptual anchor for the installation in the other room and and then escapes its function as text.
The same goes for the “found” objects in the show – which Hernandez prefers to name “re-found”, as he conceptualizes them first and then goes out to find them in the city or in his home-studio. The wooden box, the tin can, the paper cups are emptied out, turned upside down, devoid of the function they once had. Together with his hand-made objects (the above-mentioned ball, a hanging cable, a head) they all seem to have lost the ability to reach each other, and the same feeling infiltrates the way they seem to try connecting with the visitor. In this quasi-dialogue the intention of reading is suspended and the connection to a ground appears lost (in a similar way that the red cable hangs from the ceiling without quite touching the surface). Then we find a head lying on the floor, disembodied, empty , with open eyes and slightly smiling.