Rachel Harrison - Under the Influence New York Monday, March 9, 2009 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Arndt & Partner, Berlin

  • Exhibited

    London, Camden Arts Center, Rachel Harrison, January 31 - April 11, 2004; Berlin, Arndt & Partner, Rachel Harrison: Posh Floored as Ali G Tackles Becks, June 27 - August 7, 2004

  • Literature

    A. Cowell, "Art and Style Cross Borders: London; Renovated: a gallery with Posh art, and a hotel with poshness," The New York Times, March 14, 2004; C. Burnett, "Camden Arts Centre re-opening," Frieze issue 82, April 2004

  • Catalogue Essay

    When sculpture opens itself up to other activites, such as photography or window-shopping, and sets itself up as a sort of switching station where cultural materials and meanings are violently disconnected and recombined, it puts itself into flux too.  There are trans-sculptural complexes, perverse and sometimes manic redistributions of the sensible world.  A readymade object or image – Slim Fast or Leonardao DiCapri0 – is never fully integrated into a Harrison, it always retains a degree of material autonomy and non-belonging, and is for this reason a means by which the sculpture willfully produces an internal self-differentiation.  The sculpture claims Slim Fast as a component, but in so doing immediately unsettles its own proper status and territory.  Harrison’s complexes recall Macel Broodthaers’ first sculptural work, Pense-Bête (1964), produced by sinking volumes of his own poetry into a lump of wet plaster.  Announcing his career shift from poet to visual artist, Broodthaers’ simple gestrure made his books unreadable by transforming them into sculptural objects: the only way to get at the poems now would be to demolish the artwork.  But unlike Broodthaers, a Harrison allows its readymades to be as readable as they are on the supermarket shelf, and in fact this readability (and sometimes the shelf too) is one of sculpture’s unavoidable and defining qualities.  The work not only includes the can, it reroutes and pirates all the communicativity that comes built into its design.  With the cylindrical form and the gloss of the packaging come the information on the its surface, the social and cultural connotations of the diet beverage, as well as the historical memory and subjective associations that accompany such products, and we realize that there is no way to identify what is specifically sculptural in a Harrison without taking all of this into account too.  These works are as heterogeneous and self-differing as Pense-Bête, with the difference that they perform this in a wide-open, easy-access, even exhibitionistic manner.  And if they remain hermetic or opaque, this is also a result of their tactical extroversions. 
    J. Kelsey, “Sculptures in an Abandoned Field,” from Rachel Harrison, Zurich, 2007, pp. 122-23   



Wood, polystyrene, cement, Parex and acrylic. 
62 1/4 x 20 1/8 x 17 in. (158.1 x 51.1 x 43.2 cm).

$30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $37,500

Under the Influence

9 Mar 2009, 10am
New York