In his statement for “Die Nuller Jahre” (which translates from German as “the zero years” aka 2000-2009 aka “the noughties”), a show of new works at Capitain Petzel in Berlin, the artist Seth Price says that he is attempting to “name” something.

He opens the statement writing:

Recently I’ve been reflecting on the last ten years. It’s arbitrary, and a little absurd, like a drunk noticing the time and abruptly sobering up for an appointment: time to figure out what happened. With the turning of the decade it’s hard to avoid: these disparate years swim together, waiting to be addressed as one, whatever we end up calling it. In any case, we want to generate a series of images to replace vague and unsettled feelings, and to arrive at names. Sometimes the process of understanding artworks feels the same way.

And he concludes with an intriguingly clear statement:

I wanted to yield to that impulse to be read, to generate a series of images that might replace vague and unsettled feelings, to arrive at names.

What he arrives at, though, is a series of vacuum-formed lengths of knotted rope, an image that destabilizes the meaning of any name.

The use of the knot, which both ties things together and tangles them up, is perhaps indebted to Eva Hesse’s hanging, knotted ropes dipped in latex.

However, whereas part of the art of Hesse’s knotted ropes is their material-ness and the fact that they will disintegrate and collapse due to gravity, Price’s knots are hollow, empty – shells of real material.

This seems to capture the zeitgeist of the decade.

Hollow knots.

The simulation of tying something together. Creating more knots.

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