From Margin to Margin (Looking for Eileen)

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Sarah Browne, From Margin to Margin (Looking for Eileen), 2010. Limited edition leperello book, 760cm long when fully extended. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin

Commissioned by the Daimler Collection to continue the artist’s research into Eileen Gray and her legacy, the book makes transparent the commissioning process and the struggle to make an appropriate piece of artwork that respects all stakeholders in the project, including the commissioner and Gray herself. The book consists of a series of correspondences that include letters from the artist to Eileen, as well as various attempts to photograph Gray’s villa, E1027 from the sea in front of it (where Le Corbusier drowned); to secure permission to make a film on the site under restoration; and finally an effort to use the commission budget to reinstate Gray’s grave at Pére Lachaise, Paris—which failed, since she is no longer interred there and there is uncertainty about the location of her ashes. The book when folded is in a green slipcase, its dimensions 20cm x 16cm. Images throughout are black and white. The green of the book cover and wall above is the restored original green of the guest bedroom in the villa E1027. 

The accompanying sculptural work, Doorstops for the Daimler Art Collection, is a set of three bespoke stainless steel doorstops whose dimensions are gauged according to the finger and palm widths of the artist’s hand and the height of the gaps under the doors of the gallery space. These modestly sized sculptures contain no stylistic reference to Gray’s body of work, but may reflect something of her antagonistic relationship towards visibility. Caught between between modesty and stubbornness, they may disappear altogether due to their functional nature in the institution.

Sarah Browne, Doorstops for the Daimler Art Collection, 2010. Suite of three milled stainless steel sculptures: A: 2,9 x 15,9 x 2,9cm, B: 2,5 x 15,2 x 4,5cm, C: 2,6 x 13,5 x 5,9cm 
Sarah Browne, Doorstops for the Daimler Art Collection, 2010. Suite of three milled stainless steel sculptures, A: 2,9 x 15,9 x 2,9cm, B: 2,5 x 15,2 x 4,5cm, C: 2,6 x 13,5 x 5,9cm

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Production
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Photos: Peter Maybury (book designer)
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Commissioned for the Daimler Art Collection, now the Mercedez-Benz Art Collection. Book in an edition of 200, doorstops are unique and on permanent display at Daimler Contemporary, Haus Huth, Berlin. First exhibited as part of the exhibition Minimalism and Applied II, curated by Renate Wiehager and Christian Ganzerberg, also exhibited at From a Poem to the Sunset (2015) and On the Subject of the Readymade (2016). The book is available to buy online for €30 from the Daimler website. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used in the service of the memory of Eileen Gray.