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2019, ply-wood, solid wooden ball, 193 x 61 x 16,2 cm, 1 : 1 replica of the sculpture Ball Drop by Walter De Maria wich was part of a series called Boxes For Meaningless Work.

Excerpt from Gagosian’s press release for the Idea to Action to Object exhibition in 2019 : “The title of this exhibition comes from a sketchbook page, Abstract Concept (c. 1960–61), in which De Maria mapped out a cyclical relationship between a work’s conception, actualization, and perceived meaning — a cycle that he believed to be rooted in the real (as opposed to illusory) world. Themes of causality and performance run throughout the drawings, providing more intimate backstories for his minimalist sculptures and installations. The early editioned sculpture Ball Drop (1961–64) comprises a tall plywood box with two square holes cut into its face. A wooden sphere sits in a compartment framed by the lower hole. When it was originally shown at the 9 Great Jones Street gallery in 1963, the viewer was invited to take the ball and drop it through the top hole, causing a sharp bang. Here, however, the ball remains static, charged with potential energy, like the solid stainless-steel ball in 14-Sided Open Polygon (1984).”

According to the Gagosian the Estate of Walter de Maria forbids the interaction with all the objects shown in their exhibition, regardless of their original intention.

Exactly one week after the interactions with the replica in front of the gallery, three days after a group show in London in which this project was also presented and after multiple unanswered social media ‘reach-outs’, the Gagosian posted a video of them dropping the ball into the original sculpture.

This piece therefore becomes process art not only via its own interrogation of gallery practices but also through the documentation of the actions of the Gagosian itself.

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