131 Variations, a project by Fleur van Dodewaard, is a reinterpretation of Sol Lewitt’s 122 Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes. Assisted by two mathematicians Lewitt succeeded in visualizing 122 variations on an open cube that was defined only by its edges. What distinguished these from ordinary 12-edged cubes was that only between 3 and 11 edges were visible, meaning that to obtain an image of the full cube the beholder had to complete the three-dimensional form in the mind. In his quest, Lewitt discovered 122 ways of leaving the cube unfinished.
Fleur van Dodewaard set about recreating and photographing the piece seeking to produce an exact copy. But in the process things went wrong: some cubes went missing, others appeared double and previously unknown variants arose. With her 131 Variations Fleur van Dodewaard demonstrates that the 122 variations listed and presented by Lewitt did not represent an exhaustive spectrum of all conceivable possibilities. Accordingly, the “failure” consciously introduces moments of arbitrariness, inconsistency and irrationality into this aleatory process to allow for an element of coincidence, thereby challenging mathematical logic.
131 Variations seeks to debate the issues of authenticity, appropriation and reproduction, while challenging the role of photography as a medium to represent reality. Exhibition until April 5, Hauser gallery, Zürich; Book launch, March 30, 4pm, Foam, Amsterdam.