72,000 bottles of Turkish Efes beer arrive to the capital of Germany. Cyprien Gaillard in The Recovery of Discovery [Berlin, 2011] turns them into a mock pyramid monument inside KW contemporary art museum. A piece of Ephesus is encapsulated in Berlin through their local beer, as it is in most history museums through relocated fragments of ancient temples. However, the monument does not start to exist until visitors begin destroying it, by climbing to the top and drinking beer from the cardboard boxes that configure the even steps they are standing or sitting on.
The installation explores “the absurd aspects of dystopic architectures and their remaining ruins through such strategies as dilapidation, destruction, demolition, preservation, conservation and reconstruction of architecture. In doing so he always departs from the process itself.” [source> KW] The monument progressively desintegrates evidencing human use and waste. Free alcohol is consumed, producing a physical hangover that afftects body, mind and architecture. The same effect regarding existing ruins and current architectural perservation is what Gaillard criticisizes: “Preserving a monument goes hand in hand with destroying it. In order to preserve architecture, cultural monuments and relics, they are often re-located, thus abolishing the original context.”
Gaillard questions the contemporary role of tourist colonialism. Nowadays, leisure visitors are individuals who adopt the former role of national armies when invading a strategic country. This impact is also what The Recovery of Discovery visualizes in form of a new discipline. In Gaillard’s words: “My work starts where and when archaelogists left off” [mono.kultur]