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Daniel Spoerri

Le Lieu de Repos de la Famille Delbeck, 1960
assemblage, mixed media
55.0 x 57.0 x 19.5 cm
Two plates, an oven dish, a dirty glass and utensils, an old jar of instant coffee, a few yoghurt remnants, an empty pack of blue Gauloises, a cigarette butt and a pen make up this object assemblage that Daniel Spoerri created in 1960 in room 13 at Hôtel Carcassonne on Paris’s rue Mouffetard. He decided to attach the remains of an impromptu meal to the back of a wooden board he had just bought at an antique shop, then hang it on the wall, naming it simply after one of the sign-plates nailed to the other side: Le Lieu de Repos de la Famille Delbeck (The Delbeck Family’s Resting Place).

Through this strong artistic gesture, here devoid of any esthetic criterion, he created one of the very first of a long series of “Snare-Pictures”, which powerfully and simply embody a principle that the artist shares with the new realists, namely that of showing unvarnished reality. Following a modus operandi that involved both a specific intention and a good deal of chance, the artist created true contemporary still lifes by attaching everyday objects to the support on which they had been placed (a tray, table, chair, etc.), thus freezing specific moments in time, capturing situations in their immediacy – often memories of dinners shared with his circle of friends.

The support vertically hung on the wall snares the objects, giving them a new meaning, just as these objects snare the support, challenging the very idea of a picture and, more broadly, that of a work of art. The “Snare-Pictures” include an element of sharing, resulting from festive dinners served in a few ephemeral locations.
Daniel Spoerri, Le Lieu de Repos de la Famille Delbeck, 1960
Daniel Spoerri, Le Lieu de Repos de la Famille Delbeck, 1960