Topp and Dubio: a_Day_to_Clay_a_Bust

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After 20 years of being Topp & Dubio, the artists duo have tried to make something a bit more lasting in the shape of a sculpture.

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They never modelled anything with clay before and they invited the public to see the process for three days in a studio.

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I visited the second day and made some pictures on the third day.

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One of their great inspirations of the past few years is Vitaly Komar’s and Alexander Melamid’s 1986 installation Emergency Telephone Booth with Bust of Stalin and Herring, originally made for the red light district in The Hague.

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In an absurdist way it kept a fatherly eye on the visitors of the prostitutes, the ladies and their pimps, but these days Stalin is spending his disowned life more unseen and misunderstood than ever before, on the premises of the Gemeentemuseum.

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I went to see it the same afternoon to make these pictures

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Topp & Dubio tried to copy the Stalin bust.

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Press button in case of fire

Press button in case of fire

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'Mannen met snorren' (Men with moustaches)

‘Mannen met snorren’ (Men with moustaches)

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They made a studio exhibition in the mean time with Stalinalia, moustaches, sculpture and busts, relics of the red light district, tools for sculpture, video’s and anything that might have something to do with it.

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In one video they make a graffiti on the wall of the sculpture department of the Royal Academy, saying FUCK BEELDHOUWERS (FUCK SCULPTORS), as an homage to a graffiti that was there once before.

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Topp & Dubio’s works are always more or less absurdist, making you witness moments where you expect things and situations to have a meaning, but where these same things deny any meaning or suggest any other meaning but the one you had in mind. To be short, it is great fun.

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Anyway, Joseph Stalin (or is it his gold uncle?) seems to be exceptionally amused about it.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

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