Article Number: 9096
Soft Cover, German, Glue Binding, 294 Pages, 1994
Bice Curiger

Parkett No. 40 / 41 / 1994

10 Years / Snakes & Ladders

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PARKETT IS TEN YEARS OLD Since Victorian times, Anglo-Saxon children have enjoyed playing Snakes and Ladders, a board game of ancient Indian origin.

Scattered over about one hundred numbered squares are ladders that can speed one’s ascent into higher zones (and eventually, one hopes, to victory), and snakes that can bring about one’s downfall in a single unlucky move. It is a game of chance. Parkett is ten years old. A delight in metaphor originally inspired the name of the magazine—referring in German not only to the dance floor but also to the front rows of seats in a theater—and the various structuring rubrics, Les Infos du Paradis, Balkon, Cumulus; metaphor is once again the driving force behind our birthday issue.

In this game we are not so much interested in the ideas of vice and virtue, of ascendancy and decline as in the more abstract principles of stasis and dynamism, of reason and emotion, of nature and artifact, of risk and security, of the rigors of the classical grid and the waywardness of the baroque line.Snakes can be lethal and treacherous, embodying the struggle for survival of a magazine that prizes independence and the qualities that appreciate in an age of fast cuts and short-lived transcience. But we also love snakes for their ability to shed their skins in a symbolic act of reju-venation and immortality.In this spirit we wish to take the opportuni¬ty here to express our deep admiration of Meret Oppenheim (1913-1985), Andy Warhol (1930-1987), Jorge Zontal from General Idea (1943-1994) and Alighiero e Boetti (1940-1994), rich personalities with whom we have been privileged to work, and who have each made a substantial contribution to the excitement of the Parkett adventure.Ladders, which must stand steady and secure on the parquetry of the slitheriest dance floors, appeal to us as a metaphor for the link between two sets of places: art and public, object and spirit.Since a birthday is a gregarious event and good cause to celebrate, we have invited the magic sum of seven artists (Francesco Clemente, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Günther Förg, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Rebecca Horn, Sigmar Polke) to join us in marking ten years of Parkett. Together with the participating authors, they have turned this issue into a gameboard of ideas and metaphors, in keeping with our continuing belief in the enduring pleasures of play—both lighthearted and serious—and the playful pleasures of taking risks. Language: English/German