Roman Ondak, Measuring the Universe – Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
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Roman Ondak, Measuring the Universe, 2007, performance: felt-tip pen, museum guards, museum audience.
Performance views: MoMA, New York, 2009. Photos © MoMA
Roman Ondak
Measuring the Universe
Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Straße 40
80333 Munich
June 3 – September 25, 2022

Beginning June 3, 2022, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich will enact Roman Ondak's Measuring the Universe. The performative work, last seen at the Pinakothek der Moderne in 2007, has since been re-enacted at major international institutions.

The concept of Measuring the Universe is simple: the height of the museum visitors is recorded on the wall - in the way parents mark the growth of their children to give them a sense of the dimension of time. An everyday, actually private action becomes the center of attention and is transformed into a public and collective action. During the exhibition period, a drawing is created on the wall that becomes denser and blacker. In the end, all the people will be present at the same time, although they will all have left as well.

Measuring the Universe, then, is a picture of our life in this world - a picture of the importance, but also insignificance of the individual human being in mass and time.

Roman Ondak's work evolves from a performative conception and consists of sculpture, installation, photography, drawing and performance. The artist often uses found objects. His medium is the everyday and society's sets of expectations, assumptions, automatisms and projections that shape our perception of reality. His works can transform everyday rituals into poignant performative situations, obliquely addressing social and political ideas and images.

Below find a video with the artist produced on occasion of the work's enactment at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2009.
Watch now: Roman Ondak discusses Performance 4, Measuring the Universe, at MoMA.
Still © The Museum of Modern Art, New York

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