two cats, epoxy-steel-wooden sculpture, museum space, digital print, six HD-projections, 2021
The work Polyphonic Assemblage takes as its starting-point The Cat-Tree for the Arts, a sculpture that can be used for displaying art in the foyer of the Kunsthaus. The artist Dejan Marković took the title of the sculpture literally and developed an (im)possible site-specific situation between two invited cats, the sculpture and the architecture of the Kunsthaus. For two days, the cats were given the opportunity to experience and explore the ‘tree’ and the Kunsthaus. They were for a while allowed to interact with visitors and with objects, things and spaces developed for humans – a moment of togetherness in which an ephemeral assemblage was formed.
The sculpture made of plastic and wood – and also the institutional space where it is located, with all its visible and invisible rules and regulations – prevents the interplay of culture and nature that its title metaphorically suggests. It is designed to exhibit art objects. The inquisitive, curious cats, however, shift the cat-tree temporarily into a new network of relationships by placing it in the context of the other elements involved (institution, architecture, furniture, building services, exhibits, works of art, objects for sale, rooms, visitors, artists, photographers, curators, museum staff, etc). In the process, the static sculpture becomes performative and a visible meeting-point between humans and non-humans – and at the same time a place to reflect on forbidden relationships.
Traces of this polyphonic assemblage in the form of the remnants of the interaction as well as moving images that show spatial situations from the cats’ perspective are spread in the six locations in the Kunshaus Graz.