objet trouve



Objet Trouvé
acrylic & objects (plastic, stone, metal, plaster) on canvas
49 cm X 64 cm
July 2005

Like footsteps in the sand, two stones are embedded in Objet Trouvé, a work that is proud of its title. The stones are as real as they come, a symbol of enduring nature, “found objects” drifted ashore on an Irish beach. Tangible and 3-D, like the replica of a young woman’s hand, cast in plaster by a young Von Kleist many moons ago. “I wanted her as a girlfriend but she only gave me her hand. The years have left their mark although the original lines and creases are still there. I like that; time and space combined. Both elements are central to all of my work, including soundscapes.”

Thanks to a special layering of acrylic paint the colours on Objet Trouvé change gradually from almost black to a rich, warm azure. Night morphs into day as the ascending darkness seems to blend into the ocean. Just beyond the picture frame is the suggestion of a vast universe.

In contrast, the sickle-shaped cog-and-rack does not suggest a moon. Looking at this metal part Von Kleist suddenly thought of an amoeba. “A single-celled animal, one of the oldest life forms. It fleetingly gave me a feeling of power to arrange these objects as I saw fit.”

Surrealist artists René Magritte and Marcel Duchamp inspired Von Kleist to play a visual game with labels: “Magritte gives his images a wholly unexpected twist. He constantly raises questions. You see the back of a man’s head as he gazes in a mirror and sees only the back of his head. Impossible, but thought-provoking. In ’The Treachery of Images’ Magritte writes underneath a picture of a pipe: ’This is not a pipe.’ Apart from being true it is also a very profound joke. Marcel Duchamp coined the term ’objet trouvé’ in 1915. He is most famous for entering a urinal into an exhibition as a work of art and naming it ’Fountain’. Likewise, Magritte teaches us to reassess the way we look at the world. People feel a lot safer if they can isolate and pigeon-hole objects, but one item can tell dozens of stories. It all depends on who’s watching, and from which perspective.”

His work Objet Trouvé is a case in point. Even though it is labelled as such it is not really found art, a ready-made presented without any interference by its maker. It is something else.











      Photo by Suzana Zalokar   BACK