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Gabriel Kuri
Thank You Clouds, 2004
12 an der Decke befestigte 360° schwenkbare Ventilatoren, Plastiktüten/12 ceiling-mounted 360° pivoting fans, shopping bags
Größe variabel (7–8 Tüten/Ventilator)/Dimensions variable (7–8 bags/fan)
Courtesy of Esther Schipper
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Esther Schipper

Gabriel Kuri Thank You Clouds

Text by Eric Aichinger

Gabriel Kuri
Courtesy of art berlin contemporary
art berlin contemporary 2008 - artnet Magazin

Clouds have always inspired imagination. Their endless forms prompt us to recognize things from our earthbound, everyday lives. Strong winds constantly transform and recreate them, sometimes in a highly dramatic choreography. Quite apart from their beauty, clouds are of practical use as easily observed features of the prevailing weather. When their form, structure and changes over time are interpreted correctly, it is possible to forecast local weather developments. But one seldom encounters these fleeting, heavenly phenomena in enclosed spaces.

However, the clouds that Gabriel Kuri shows in his work Thank You Clouds – presented for the first time in the Serpentine Gallery in 2004 – are made of plastic. Kuri loves the installation game. He enjoys bringing together contrasting materials, forms and techniques in a way that lends an edge to the content. For this particular work, he distributed twelve tabletop fans on the ceiling and fastened ordinary plastic bags to their protective grilles. Air blows up the bags – which have “Thank You” written on them – and then they collapse again with a weary rustle when the slowly turning fan swivels back. This transforms the space below. It represents earth as an overpopulated hell with no air left to breathe. Kuri does not invite us to spot animals, flowers or faces in his floating forms, like the clouds of 19th-century painters; but instead tempts us to imagine the devil himself in a materialist guise. As the unmoving mover, as the electric fan eternally creating wind. This has esprit and verve – at least until the whole thing runs out of breath.

Gabriel Kuri was born in Mexico City in 1970; he lives and works there and in Brussels. A graduate of Goldsmiths College in London, he weaves a wide range of themes into his art, which investigates questions on topics like cultural identity, social opposites and history.

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