This is the orange…
I have a little bit of Roelof Louw’s Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges) right with me in the flesh. Today it will be consumed. I have never before eaten an artwork but I have tasted plenty of oranges.
Is this sculpture a grand comment on the place of art in the everyday? It certainly squeezes our perceptions around permanence, and as Tate says “raises questions about ephemerality, time and decay.” Not too many other sculptures that spoil so quickly, not too many others that invite you to participate in that destruction.
Roelof Louw created this piece in 1967 and was influenced, he admits, by the hippy vibe of the time and the market at Covent Garden. He stacked 6000 oranges into a pyramid and invited the viewer to interact with the artwork by consuming a part of it. If there is an element of willful subversion involved then it is Jenga that springs to my mind!