The Crying Stone
Archivio Conz
December 02, 2022
Eric Andersen Presents “The Crying Stone”, Photos by Giulia Baresi
Eric Andersen Presents “The Crying Stone”, Photos by Giulia Baresi

Eric Andersen and Archivio Conz presented The Crying Stone on December 2, 2022 to celebrate the restoration of The Portable Crying Stone, which was editioned by Francesco Conz and has been newly restored by Archivio Conz will be on view and celebrated with Eric Andersen himself.

Hannah Higgins writes of The Crying Space in Between a Rock and a Hard Place, “The long duration of a thoughtful visit to the space invariably leads the visitor to a seat, where they bend over the stone whose tear- wells ask a critical question. Could I use this? Are the tear wells the right distance apart for my eyes? Are all the stones the same? What does their sameness say about our common, embodied humanity? Am I really supposed to cry in here? Shall I remember a tragedy like the death of a parent or a child, or a war? What if, sitting here, I feel embarrassed and cannot cry in public. Or, worse, what if at this moment I feel nothing. Shall I cry for feeling nothing when the world is full of tragedy? Shall I remember a joke that will make me laugh until I cry? There have been many times in my life when crying turned to hilarious laughter. What is the point of any of this thing we call life, anyway? 'It isn’t Bad' another of Andersen’s pieces seems to promise, but it isn’t great either. Tears of joy can so easily become the opposite...In the Crying Space it is the threshold (between art and life, between media, between the inside and outside of the body and of the room, and most importantly between a self and an other engaged in empathic exchange) that holds the experience together.”

Francesco Conz was fascinated with rare and precious materials and taking them from their original context. In an interview with Henry Martin in 1991, Conz remarked on his particular choices on materials for production, “For example, I’ve produced a work with Eric Andersen, a box containing his Crying Plate, which is a flat piece of marble with two small depressions in it – fine pink Verona marble – and I suggested to Eric that this plate should be presented in a beautifully crafted mahogany box with leather straps; I mean the work is all very secretive, and the box is lined with satin. Mahogany is right since it’s the wannest and most precious wood you can find, if in fact you can find it, and Eric did not say no, and insist on using plywood. Mahogany is now a very rare and expensive wood, not to mention the rarity of finding a carpenter who knows how to work with it. The artists are highly intrigued when I offer suggestion about the kinds of materials and craftsmanship that I can still make available.”

On crying, Andersen has expressed, “Crying is the only means of human communication that cannot be decoded and interpreted with certainty. You can observe a person Crying but can never determine why without additional information. It could be sadness, joy, pain, exhaustion, pleasure, relief or a particle of dust in the eye. However, if you analyze the hormones and crystals in each tear, you can with scientific certainty declare the specific reason for that particular Crying session.”

Eric Andersen (b. Antwerp, Belgium) examines the relationship between private and public, action and inactivity. Andersen's work deeply investigates the phenomenon of intermedia and from 1962 to 1966, he cooperated closely with Arthur Köpcke in spreading Fluxus. In the late 1960s, Andersen was active in Mail Art, and since the 1970s he has devoted much of his work to the exploration of geographical space.