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Rasheed Araeen's Zero to Infinity

An inanimate structure comes to life

Zero doesn’t mean nothing. Zero means energy is there. But it is in a static form. It’s not doing anything, it’s sitting ... I want to intervene and break it and let it to be transformed into things.

Rasheed Araeen

First performed in 1968, Zero to Infinity, by Rasheed Araeen was restaged in 2013 at The Tanks at Tate Modern.

Consisting of one hundred bright blue lattice-construction cubes, initially arranged in a ten by ten grid, invited guests were encouraged by the artist to move the units around the gallery, disrupting the uniform display to leave the cubes in a more complex and spontaneous arrangement.

Transcription

Zero doesn’t mean nothing. Zero means energy is there. But it is in a static form. It’s not doing anything, it’s sitting.

I want you to dismantle this and make your own work out of it.

What I was asking them was to dismantle that sculpture and make one work of many other formations in their own way.

I want to intervene and break it and let it to be transformed into things; they explode, like a big bang.
See, something new is happening here.

It keeps changing.

Yes. When you saw initially, it was a dead structure. Once people intervened and did something with it, it becomes alive. This work is very old.

When was it first made?

‘Sixty-eight. There’s more; more that was made, but this piece was done in 2004...

Okay.

...and actually transformed with the public participation. But since then, the idea of breaking symmetry, the idea that a rigid structure should move into a process of transformation has gone into my new works, which I am pursuing now.

We thought we’d stop there now.

Yes.

It’s half past eleven, so we are going to draw it to a close. Do you want to have a final wander through the space? Do you want to just walk through the space once?

Yeah, okay.

Just go through it and experience your creation.

You can see a dynamic transformation of things. I think it’s beautiful.

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