"cook local impact infinite - Vienna" 

Each table 300 x 95 x 77cm, 2016, Original floor art historical museum Vienna, Acrylic glass


text table 1 

"Instead of a white wall, could not the everyday activities of a different world become the background for exhibiting art ?" 

( Vito Acconci)

text table 2

"The museum - its differentness is its current significance, its deviation its big chance."

(Hans Belting)


text table 3


"Memo to art museums - don't give up on art!" 

(Roberta Smith)

"matheo", 2016, 240 x 195 x 14 cm, digitalized Polaroid photo, digitalprint on acrylic glass, MDF, LED, in cooperation with impossible project Berlin


Cook Local Impact Infinite, 2015

Reclaimed wood, Swarovski crystals, Plexiglas

3 tables, 112x36x32 inches each


Norbert Brunner, Cook Local Impact Infinite

January 7 - February 20, 2016

Claire Oliver Gallery is honored to present an important installation by Gallery Artist Norbert Brunner entitled: Cook Local Impact Infinite. This installation continues Brunner’s exploration of the power of positive thinking and our ability to overcome all obstacles if we believe we can.

Cook Local Impact Infinite consists of three large tables (each measuring 10 x 3 feet) arranged in a straight line. Attendant benches welcome the viewer to sit and become a participant. Austrian-born artist Norbert Brunner has created these tables and benches from the actual 125-year-old floorboards taken from one of most important art museums worldwide, the Kunsthistorische Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) in Vienna. When the halls of the Kunstkammer (Art Chamber) of this museum were renovated in 2012 and its floors were renewed, Norbert Brunner was able to purchase some of the original floorboards. The wood he used for creating his tables originally bore the display cabinets of the Kunstkammerstücke (Art Chamber Collection) which for centuries sated the hunger for universal knowledge. Many of these objects used to be shown on festively decorated tables of European courts – richly enchased ostrich eggs, mobile table automatons or the famous Saliera by Benvenuto Cellini. And the floors of the Wiener Kunstkammer also bore its visitors – admirers of arts and sciences as well as representatives, diplomats and potentates of all nations.

Down the center of each tabletop, a four inch wide channel holds Brunner’s distinctive layers of acrylic glass and Swarovski crystals. By looking directly down into the crystal filled channel, the viewer will realize there is a message spelled out within. It is only by looking up, however, into the mirrors above that the words become legible. As a mirror is a reflection that inverts the original image, Brunner’s mirrors invert the words and garbled past to create a positive reflection for the future.

For Brunner, the piece is not complete without human interaction. As a proactive, interactive work, the viewers themselves become caught up in the words and see themselves in the final inspired “picture”. As is his wont, the texts for each of the artist’s works are well thought out and conceptually underpinned to the whole of the work. To that end, this project called out for another voice to add to the dialogue. Brunner chose celebrated Austrian poet Erich Fried. Born 1921 to Jewish parents in Vienna, Fried fled with his mother to London after his father was murdered by the Gestapo during the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938. He did not return to his beloved Vienna until 1962. Because of his historical ties to the material, as well as his triumph over adversity, Fried’s love poem “What it is” becomes the perfect assertion for Cook Local:

It is nonsense says reason It is nothing but pain says fear It is foolish says caution It is calamity says calculation It is hopeless says insight It is impossible says experience It is what it is says love… It is ludicrous says pride It is what it is says love… It is what it is says love…

- Erich Fried

Visitors may sit down or mingle around, completing the “still life” by becoming a part of the installation. The “guest” who takes time with the work will be rewarded; by looking up into the mirrors above, the entire table will come into view, giving one the perspective necessary to read the entirety of the poem; only by looking up into the mirrors can the visitors understand the work as a whole, with themselves as part of the equation. In lockstep with the concept of community collaboration to reach a goal, Cook Local Impact Infinite asks each of us to look upon ourselves and our “local” actions in order to reach a universal goal.

Excerpt from: Erich Fried, „Was es ist“ (1983), in: Es ist was es ist. Liebesgedichte, Angstgedichte, Zorngedichte, Berlin: Wagenbach 1991.

Translation: Matthias Kaldenbach

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