Optimistic Box n°3

Robert Filliou


Object, 6 x 12 x 2,9 cm.
Materials: wooden box, labels

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. M00008).

Starting from his idea that well done, badly done and not done are equivalent principles, Robert Filiou has created a series of Optimistic boxes as new year’s gifts. “Nouvel an Pour vous et vos amis renouvelez l'art d'offrir. Ces artistes ont conçu et réalisé pour vous des cadeaux...inquiétants insolents et baroques... De 30 à 3000 F.“ (New Year for you and your friends, renew the art of giving. These artists have designed and created disturbing, insolent and baroque presents for you … from 30 to 3000 Francs.)

The editions of Robert Filliou are often a direct pathway to the artist's imagination, as is the case with the well-known Optimistic Boxes. These are objects that can be read from both the inside and the outside.

This third 'Optimistic Box' gives you the illusion of opening a game of draughts or chess, but the game is irrelevant: Filliou, who communicates directly to the person looking at the multiple set, writes on the label “Tant mieux si vous ne savez pas jouer aux échecs. / So much the better if you can’t play chess”. The box contains no chess pieces, but only the message “Vous n’imiterez pas Marcel Duchamp / You won’t copy Marcel Duchamp”.

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