MAIN SPACE | 30.10.2022 – 26.02.2023

THE FINAL BID. Michael Pinsky

Auction platform


Here you can go to the auction platform where you can place bids for one or more of the chairs.

About the exhibition

Sustainability is a subject that none of us can afford to ignore today. But the word is used in so many different ways that it is in danger of deteriorating into an empty sound bite, and of triggering a sense of overwhelming challenge rather than motivation. Many people wonder if they can make any difference at all and what possible measures they might take.

British artist Michael Pinsky makes this the starting point for his processual installation The Final Bid, which he will be premiering at the Draiflessen Collection. What makes up the largest portion of our average greenhouse gas emissions here in Germany is not air travel, energy consumption, or food, but — at about 4 tons per person — the consumption of manufactured goods such as furniture, clothing, and appliances.

In a playful way, Pinsky invites people to take an active step and interrupt the never-ending flow of new goods in a symbolic action. For this he has chosen the iconic object of the chair. Everyone needs at least one chair. Indeed, countless numbers of chairs already exist. Instead of always purchasing new ones and thus consuming more resources, the artist proposes that we reuse the chairs we already have. To this end, he is transforming the museum into a sales platform and asking that no-longer-needed chairs be brought to the museum. Inside the exhibition space, the MAIN SPACE, they become part of an installation, which is quite literally set in motion by an auction process. Arising out of the interplay of the bids is a constantly changing sculptural ensemble, which dissolves again at the end.

THE FINAL BID plays with the idea of collecting artifacts and the value these objects gain when they are placed in a museum context. While some of the chairs may have great sentimental value, they are generally worth little from a commercial point of view. In the tradition of the ready-made, they are momentarily taken out of their functional context and become a sculpture to be looked at, rather than being pieces of furniture to be sat upon. After their purchase, however, the chairs return to their previous use. 
Michael Pinsky, Concept Sketch (The Final Bid), 2022, | © Michael Pinsky, Courtesy the artist

POLLUTION PODS

For the first four weeks of the exhibition, another work by Michael Pinsky will also be shown on the Draiflessen Collection grounds: to our great delight, we are able to present the artist’s Pollution Pods. This installation simulates the air and climatic conditions in different parts of the world in five interconnected geodesic domes. Visitors walk through the clear air of Norway, smell the diesel fumes of London cabs, and experience the haze of smog bathing the cities of New Delhi, Beijing, and São Paulo. Air pollution is rendered physically palpable with an intensity rarely experienced before. It is an artwork that leaves no one cold, and which prompts us to reflect on what humans are doing to their environment, and ultimately to themselves, with their way of life. The Pollution Pods installation has caused a sensation internationally and has been presented in Trondheim (Norway), London, Vancouver, Madrid, and New York, among other places.
Michael Pinsky, Pollution Pods, Norwegen 2017, Courtesy der Künstler | © Michael Pinsky, Foto/ photo: Thor Nielsen / NTNU

The Artist

In his works of art, the British artist Michael Pinsky (b. 1967) explores humanity’s geopolitical impact on its environment—an impact that can encompass the ecological footprint of each individual, but also the ways in which humans interact. He thereby challenges the status quo, and, through artworks often aimed at participation and exchange, he critiques our throw-away mindset and insatiably consumerist lifestyle, which not only place excess strain on the environment but, in the long term, also threaten our very existence. 
Rather than simply pointing an admonishing finger, however, the artist is concerned with developing a dialogue and enagaging in joint, solution-oriented action—because we cannot just carry on as before and expect things to change.  
Pinsky’s work has been shown at various venues, including: Tate Britain, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Armory Center for the Arts, Los Angeles, and International Architectural Biennale Rotterdam.
Michael Pinsky, 2021, Courtesy der Künstler | © Michael Pinsky, Foto/ photo: Sophie Mitchell

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