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Tobias Rehberger

MAGGI (2s) again (2020)

The artist Tobias Rehberger has toyed with personal childhood memories since his early work of the 1990s. Art operates in these pieces as a form of translation. A recollection is recalled, reformulated, and transformed into a sculpture, installation, or, as in this instance, a drawing. The intention is not to give any realistic illustration of the past; rather, the work offers us a liberal interpretation of what he saw and stored in his memory: a visualization, that is to say, of the subjective perception of time.For his edition, Rehberger selected a reproduction of “MAGGI (2s),” one in a series of colored pencil sketches showing the hamster he had as a child. The drawings also served as templates for a series of sculptures. Rehberger’s pet died in an awful accident involving a door being slammed shut; hence the painful sight of Maggi’s body shattered into two parts. With gruesome irony, the picture invitesassociations both of the warm glow suffusing early memories of cute pet rodents and many a chilling anecdote of the demise of a child’s beloved animal. Who doesn’t have a friend whose hamster or parakeet was felled by this or that tragic mishap? Reconstructing the dismemberment of the hamster with brutal determination, the series of drawings stands as Rehberger’s morbidly humorous memorial to Maggi.