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Clegg & Guttmann :
The Moebius Library

Melk, 2004
Stiftsbibliothek, Abt-Berthold-Dietmayr-Straße 1, 3390 Melk


The Moebius Library by the artist duo was originally conceived as an object for a presentation at the Waldzell Conference in 2004. A 2.8 metre tall moebius loop made of plywood has shelves that house writings by the Nobel prize-winners, academics, scientists and journalists who participated in the conference.

Classical representation in the sense of 'sculpture' is not really their thing. This notwithstanding, 'The Moebius Library' looks credibly as if the artist duo Clegg & Guttmann were for once interested in form. In a generous elegant loop, a 280cm tall plywood Moebius strip pushes up against a library wall. Not on just any library wall, one in the Benedictine Abbey at Melk with its fine inlayed shelves, the gold-plated figures and the ceiling fresco by Paul Troger. Originally conceived as a presentation object for the Waldzell Conference in 2004, the sculpture functions as a shelf holding the writings of the participating nobel prize-winners, scientists, academics and journalists. Every year in the abbey that inspired Umberto Eco to write The Name of the Rose, they deliberate on such weighty topics as the present and future of our civilisation. The Moebius Library is ascribed by Clegg & Guttmann to those where they apply the complex mechanisms of re-contextualisation. It is both part of a social sculpture while also sharing some of the facets of portraiture and a trace of elements of the events that led up to it. It is from these elements, say the artists, that the project is continually restructured by the viewer's intellectual eye. The elements of the installation are layered according to three different timeframes, and their properties shift fluidly back and forth between the dimensions of the functional, the informative and the symbolic.
(Brigitte Huck)