The above play with words and images or objects, I found in a window last week at a great warehouse called Excelsior in Milan. A paper comes out of a typewriter. On the paper is typed, “This is not a blue bottle.” That’s correct, while the massage is written on paper, and paper is not a blue bottle. The massage is about the blue bottle, which stands next to the typewriter (which is by the way not a bottle in a classical sense). It’s a kind of indirect branding of the object. Because, what has a with paint dripped typewriter to do with a blue bottle of perfume?
This kind of joke whereby the connection between object and words is denied or disconnected, is obviously a interpretation of the work La Trahison des Images (1928-29) of the Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. It asks the question: what is real and what not and which concepts do we use for concrete objects and reproduction of these objects? How can we make (dis) connections between objects and words?
Plenty artist after Magritte played with the connection or disconnection between words and images, like the Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976) and later Marc Maet (1955-2000). The American artist Joseph Kosuth (1945) played with the connection between a real object (chair), description of an object and the reproduction of an object in his famous work One and Three Chairs (1965). The only real or concrete chair is the one in the middle, but simultaneously we look of course again at a reproduction of the whole work as being photographed in a museum.