Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov: Spielplatz
Edizioni Conz Raum
Jun 21–Aug 30, 2019
Exhibition view “Spielplatz”, Photos by Giorgia Palmisano
Exhibition view “Spielplatz”, Photos by Giorgia Palmisano

Archivio Conz presented “Spielplatz” at Edizioni Conz Raum, an exhibition of works and fetishes by Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov from the collection of Francesco Conz. In the late 70's Morris and Trasov began a long friendship with the Italian collector, characterized by productive residencies in Asolo and Verona and an important development of ideas, works and collaborations that lasted until Conz's death in 2010. For “Spielplatz” Morris and Trasov are back in Berlin with the Image Bank show at KW Berlin, with Archivio Conz joining forces to show a selection of material that celebrates their history with Conz as well as with the city of Berlin where the two Canadian artists lived for many years.

Founded in 1969 by Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov, Image Bank helped facilitate the exchange of ideas, images, and information between artists through the use of the postal system. Image Bank compiled and printed address and image request lists that were sent to participants through the mail creating an open-ended decentralized method of networking. The possibilities inherent in this kind of activity are limited only by the imagination so it is not hard to draw parallels between the pioneering work of the Image Bank and the later development of e-mail and the internet. Taking its name from a play on a quote by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Image Bank was a conceptual system that embodied a shared consciousness drawn from subliminal mass culture imagination. Combining elements proper to Pop Art with stances from Duchamp’s ready-made and conceptual art, between 1972 and 1973, Morris and Trasov began working on Colour Bar paintings as a part of the ongoing Colour Research project. During their first two years of operation, thousands of Colour Bars were hand-painted on their rural property, “Babyland.” These rainbow bars were later proposed as props, filmed and photographed in various situations, representing a floating and infinitely variable form of painting. From the discontinued operations of Image Bank in 1978, Morris and Trasov established the Morris/Trasov Archive, consisting of countless ephemera, as well as photographs, films, and props.