Eva & Franco Mattes


A web of flies

rot sculpture

This summer White Flag Projects in Saint Louis held an interesting exhibition called Another Kind of Vapor. Taking inspiration from Dieter Roth’s work the show presented artists who use non-traditional and decaying materials, such as Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha and Dieter Roth himself.

Roth’s piece in the show was a glass jar containing flies collected by the artist from his legendary work Staple Cheese (A Race), 1970. This work has disappeared long ago, thrown away in the desert by the gallery owner, nothing else remains beside this 40-year-old jar full of dead flies.

Unfortunately Dieter Roth never made this work, it’s a fake. We invented it one evening in a bar with our friend Corazon Del Sol, and put it together the next day. We bought all the stuff on the internet: an old glass jar, a vintage cork and lots of flies (yes, you can buy flies online), and sent the work to the unaware curators.

The piece has been shown for over a month, and nobody questioned its authenticity or worthiness. The image of the jar with flies started circulating on the Internet and it’s also mentioned in Roth’s biography in Wikipedia.

Maybe one day the jar would have been included in other Dieter Roth shows, and, who knows, even sold for a lot of money.

Sometimes we tend to prefer facts we wish to be true, rather than facts we know to be true. Maybe the little jar fulfilled our desire that the Dieter Roth legendary work wasn’t completely lost. Believing is seeing.

More info here

and the exhibition is here