IBK – Institut für bildende Kunst
Fachbereich Kunst und Fotografie


Jojo Gronostay

Corporate Synthetic Felt Carpet

I wanted to create a platform or display that could also function as a work of its own. The old synthetic felt carpet tiles don’t have the characteristics of antiques because they are functional and too new. It is a serial object but got to authenticity through its used condition. The synthetic panels will still work long after my death, at least that’s what the salesman told me. Because of their former placement, the sun, dirt, different use and people walking over it, there are color differences between the panels. I like the idea that the carpet is an assemblage from former interiors of banks and insurance branches that have disappeared in the course of digitalization. Although the synthetic felt panels look neutral they are very specific for certain commercial spaces. The pieces of pine wood for the floor have been cut from leftovers. The material, felt and wood, could be linked to Joseph Beuys work and the idea of the social sculpture, but this time with a “commercial“ coating.

The edited pictures on the walls were photographed by me in Barcelona in 2020. I was very interested in the hands of the street vendors, because they reminded me of gestures in old paintings. In their hands they hold ropes that are connected to blankets that serve as displays for their products, mostly fake designer goods. The ropes are a device to pack things as quickly as possible in order to escape from the police. The hand is the complex and primary human tool. With it we manipulate our environment, shape nature into culture, and fulfill our creative mission. Just like an artist, the vendor is a trafficker of ideas. His product is an idea of luxury.

The used jeans, from the brand Dead White Mens Clothes, are bleached with hair dye and stitched with the brand’s logo. Dead White Mens Clothes is a hybrid. It is an art project, a clothing brand and a platform. The label’s name derives from the Ghanaian term “obroni wawu”, which can be translated into Dead White Mens Clothes. In the 70’s, when first waves of second-hand clothes arrived in Ghana from the global north, the locals could not believe that such high quality clothing could be given away for free and assumed that the previous owner must have died.


Foto © Clemens Fantur