Angelika Böck


Galerie Peter Herrmann

This installation comprises five portraits sculpted in wood and five photographic portraits printed on fabric. Opposite each bust hangs a photo showing the sculptor responsible for the work. The sculptures owe their inception to the principle of the "Stille Post" (Silent Post). Only the first sculpture was created on the basis of a living model in a village on the Ivory Coast, this in turn serving as a prototype for the second sculpture which was carved in another village. The second was a model for the third, which was produced in another village selected at random, and so on. The question in the case of this experimental layout was how the busts would change as the distance from the first village and its original work increased.

The artist herself sat as model for the first of the five portraits carved by a professional sculptor. This traditional craftsman normally produces ritual objects for the village community which no unauthorised person is allowed to see. The specifications for the busts, each being made from a single piece of hardwood, included the wood-carver making an exact, one-to-one copy of the model provided in each case. Only the first sculptor knew the original live model, the others each working solely on the basis of the previous wooden sculpture.

The most striking mutation in the sculptures is the fact that the figure’s chin becomes more and more protrusive and its lips thicker. There is a proportional shift between mouth and eyes, the latter becoming continually smaller. Unlike the first bust, which is clad in a T-shirt, the fifth sculpture wears no clothing over its considerably more accentuated breasts and clearly-defined nipples. The hair grows progressively shorter, while the hairline becomes less and less prominent.


Berlin November 2001 - Januar 2002

Holz, gefärbt je ca. 40 x 30 x 60cm

5 Fotoleinwände 60 x 60 cm

Preis auf Anfrage


The typically western issue of originals and copies is entirely irrelevant in this context. On the one hand, diverse copying and carving techniques are applied in different areas of the Ivory Coast, so that a direct comparison of the busts is not possible in terms of manufacturing methods. Moreover, copying has a totally different standing in Africa. Certain carved masks are copied again and again in order to retain their ritual significance. There is consequently no term for "forgery". The place of manufacture, the ritual site, is however of very special importance.

Dialogue of perception: each sculpture looks at its artist, who appears to be keeping an eye on his work of art. Visitors can position themselves between different portraits, for example betweena bust and its artist and view the other sculptures and sculptors to the right and left. Similarities can be identified between artists and their sculptures, whereas only an intimation of the original model is visible from the sculptures, as its track increasingly diminishes. To the European eye, the metamorphosis is obvious. The likenesses become more and more removed from the Western original, taking on increasingly African forms.


Dramane Kolo-Zié Coulibaly.
Amadou Coulibaly.
Dosso N’Gouamué.

Gboungué Louna Pascal.
Bidije Goure.

In this installation, there is a clash of cultures and reproductive traditions. On the one hand, the African artists created portraits of a German artist (for the most part without knowing it), and on the other hand, Angelika Böck photographed each of her African counterparts. Whereas the busts owe their style to traditional African carving techniques, Western technology was used to create the photographs and digitally reproduce them on canvas.

This installation represents both a reversal of and crossover between the traditional roles of the artist on the one hand and model on the other. As in "Frage-ment", Angelika Böck again acts as a mediatoramong various parties. She is both initiator of the project and at the same time object of the portrayals, while the African sculptors themselves are not only subjective portrayers, but also the objects portrayed. All those involved in the creative process act as mediators among the visual worlds which now confront each other in this installation. And finally, the viewers moving among the rows of photos and sculptures also bridge the gap between passive observation and active involvement.















198 x 24 cm
S/W-Fotografie auf Dibond.
Auflage: 8+1
Preis auf Anfrage

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