The ‘decoding – recoding’ series at this blog is an exploration of the relationship between abstraction (decoding) and form (recoding).
This post is an exercise in thinking like what the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze called ‘the fold.’ Or maybe it is just associative thinking.
I want to argue here that the abstract faces the German Pavilion in Barcelona by Mies van der Rohe are connected via the work of K. Michael Hays, Andy Warhol and Micha Klein to the Kolbe sculpture in the same pavilion. It works like this:
Abstract face – Repetition of Coca-Cola bottles - Single Coca-Cola bottle – Female figure – Sculpture
I will explain that argument here in more detail. The American architectural historian K. Michael Hays argues that the abstract faces in the work Mies van der Rohe are connected to the abstract artworks of Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol repeated Coca-Cola bottles or other consumer products to an abstract face. With that repetition of the Coca-Cola bottle Warhol critized consumer society, K. Michael Hays argues. The abstract architecture of Mies van der Rohe can subsequently also be read as a critique of the vulgar economic reality.
Well, I don’t know what Andy Warhol thought, but he also made artworks of single Coca-Cola bottles. And here is the interesting part; the Dutch computer-artist Micha Klein made a commercial for Coca-Cola in which he connects the bottle figure to the female figure.
And the sculpture in the Barcelona Pavilion by the German sculptor Georg Kolbe is obviously a representation of a female figure.
And so the abstract face folds into the female figure.
The video by Micha Klein can be viewed here and features music by DJ Tiësto.
Just as the Coca-Cola bottle could be interpreted as a representation of the female figure the Coca-Cola logo can – according to Micha Klein – be interpreted as a representation of a wink of an eye.