The Project

The exhibition

Das grosse Stilleben (The Big Still Life) – Le Petit Grand-Magasin p. features a department store in Mugron in southern France that has survived largely intact some 30 years after it was closed. Das grosse Stilleben thereby casts daily life and the ubiquitous world of commodities in a new light, turning it into arsenal of memory and a hieroglyph for consumer society. Jean Tinguely and Kurt Schwitters (whose works are being displayed in parallel at the Museum Tinguely) have defined their art by drawing from this everyday world. The installation is reminiscent of the Neuer Supermarkt (New Supermarket) exhibition by Guillaume Bijl in the Galerie Littmann in 1990. But whereas the artist installed a new supermarket in the gallery for that exhibition, Das grosse Stilleben is authentic to the minutest detail. Only a few perishable goods were newly added; everything else originates from the department store in Mugron. Here, the installation heeds the words of Andy Warhol, who remarked in 1985: “Lock up a department store today, open the door after a hundred years and you will have a Museum of Modern Art.”




The Big Still Life

The Big Still Life

Martin Heller

Time of publication: 2004
93 Pages, Hardcover
CHF 35.00, € 23.00
ISBN: 978-3-7245-1337-2