Anne Kolbe

You never know when you’ll need a flower vase

Ongoing performance within a changeable installation of movable objects

A vase’s space (on the use and un-use of the flower vase)

If the idea of living is residing amongst things of our choosing, then the flower vase comes off rather poorly, being put on hold for most of its lifecycle. You never know when you’ll need it, so you store it. It sits in a closed cupboard, shut off form everyday life, with an empty holding space, on hold to perform its function. When taken out on occasion, it is being held under the tab to be cleaned from the dust it has collected. As water gets poured into it, the vase’s space is being filled. Then the flowers come in! At this moment we become aware of the vase’s flower holding nature. This is when the vase shines, and yet it is by far the star of the show.

The flowers, the smaller ones being centered around the largest among them, form a real masterpiece of decoration: the table’s centerpiece. Even though they’re dead, they lighten up the living room. But now that they have finite resources, the joy they bring is running down the clock. The tripping point between being ornaments of life or death marks their definite ending. Along comes the end of the flower vase’s exercise. It gets rinsed, wiped, and stored away in its most familiar place of residence, to remain untouched for a long time. Here at once it is reduced to something not being used as it was intended to be used: an unfulfilled object.