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Recherche sur l'Origine / Research on the Origin / Erforschung des Ursprungs

Filliou, Robert

Düsseldorf. Edition Stadtischen Kunsthalle. 1974
A good copy of Robert Filliou's conceptual multiple.

From the edition limited to 400 copies, signed and numbered ('395 / 400') by Filliou to the left hand wooden roller of the scroll.

' ... Le principe d'équivalence appliqué à la creation permanente de l'univers / the principle of equivalence applied to the permanent creation of the universe / das Prinzip der Gleichwertigkeit, angewandt auf die fordauernde Schöpfung des Universums ... '. (Filliou's tri-lingual explanation of his aims).

On January 17th 1973, with the idea of uniting people of all times, Filliou celebrated the 1,000,010th Anniversary of Art at the Neue Galerie der Stadt in Aachen: 'Art must return to the people to which it belongs'. As 10 years had gone by since Filliou had begun his 'Histoire Chuchotée de l'Art' (Whispered History of Art), 1,000,010 years corresponded to the arbitrary date of Man's appearance on Earth. The artist was working on the search for the origin and proposed a new concept, 'The Prebiological Genius'.

In 1974, he produced 'Recherche sur l'Origine', a work made of cloth 90 metres long and 3 metres high, inside which the spectator could walk around. The work, profoundly conceptual in nature, alludes to history, mathematics, art, philosophy and physics and posits a geometrical progression as to whether 'any thought, any concept, any birth, any growth, etc.' is 'well made, or badly made, or not made'. To illustrate the concepts involved, 'each element of Research on the Origin is presented 3 times' as in the previous formal iterations, the progression developing from the creation of newer iterations, i.e. 'since it [the Well-made iteration] now exists [it] is considered as a whole and becomes Well Made to which a new Badly Made and a New Not Made must be added'. This edition, produced by the Düsseldorf Kunsthalle, reproduces and reduces that scroll, now made of paper, to 8.42 metres in length. A booklet of printed text with an introduction by Jürgen Harten elucidates Filliou's concepts further with quotations from Lao Tzu, Watson and Crick, various journals of astrophysics, Darwin and Schiller and so on.

[Ref. Buchholz, Daniel & Magnani, Gregorio (eds.): International Index of Multiples from Duchamp to the Present, pg. 70].
[Booklet: 20 leaves + Scroll: 8 conjoined leaves]. Booklet: 16mo. (148 x 104 mm) + Scroll (298 x 8,420 mm). Small booklet with title, introductory text in German by Jürgen Harten, together with analytical commentary on the scroll, final leaf with 'Impressum'; the accompanying long rolled paper scroll features printed text in French, English and German, together with reproductions of Filliou's manuscript and illustration, signed (printed) at far right 'St. Jeanneret - Berlin - 1973 - 74 - RFilliou'. The left-hand wooden roller is signed and numbered by Filliou in pencil. Booklet: blue paper wrappers, stapled as issued, front cover with white label with reproduction of Filliou's signature in black; paper scroll of blue squared paper recto on wooden rollers; booklet and scroll loose as issued in original white card box.