Transcript of four lectures given in Leipzig in 2010 regarding an installation Olaf Nicolai made in Paris back in 1998. This publication revolves around the theme of the labyrinth and its various manifestations and associations—from the Minotaur to geographical maps and Ikea's assembly instructions.
In 1998, Olaf Nicolai took green plastic brooms used by Parisian municipal employees to build a labyrinth in the “Art Grandeur Nature” exhibition at Parc de La Courneuve (Paris Saint-Denis). This installation is the starting point of the publication, which explores and combines a broad spectrum of topics that relate to the theme of the labyrinth, and serves as a reference system to Nicolai's work. A map of Paris describing the artist's itinerary—including the sites and monuments he visited—is inserted in the book's dustcover.
Published following the exhibition “Spector Books: Through the labyrinth” at Cneai, Chatou, from April 5 to September 7, 2014.
For about twenty years, Olaf Nicolai (born 1962 in Halle, East Germany, lives and works in Berlin) has been producing conceptual artworks influenced by a philosophical background inherited from its formative years in East Germany, questioning the deadlocks of romanticism and Marxism. Alternating between photography, sculpture, publishing, design, installation and performance, Nicolai creates artistic situations whose purpose is to hijack the production patterns of the industrial world as well as its cultural, financial and social representations.
Jan Wenzel is a writer and co-founder of Spector Books.