Floor for a sculpture, Wall for a painting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Together with the work of Cristina Iglesias, René Daniëls and Philippe Van Snick, Isa Genzken’s sculptures form a basic component of the double exhibition Floor for a Sculpture, Wall for a Painting which was once described as Robbrecht en Daem’s ‘materialized manifesto’. In the gallery, two sturdy cavity walls were added to the existing architecture, as a result
of which a new corner was created. In one of the exhibitions, Van Snick painted a layer of gesso over a wall faced with a thin layer of plaster, while the limestone remained visible on the side. ‘It stands there, as a visible part of the world of architectures’, emphasized Robbrecht. A wooden floor was laid on either side of an existing wall. For Robbrecht en Daem, these added elements were not artistic, but rather architectural interventions: ‘Neither the floor nor the wall have something to do with some presentation techniques of art. Nor should they be considered a sculpture or an installation. They are purely architectural elements that confront themselves with and/or merge with art’. The project was first and foremost an attempt to explore the boundaries of architecture and art. Underlying was the question as to what extent does a wall remain a wall or is transformed into a sculpture. 
This element was reinforced by the fact that neither the concrete wall nor the wooden floor were in any way coercive. Daniëls’s painting, The House, was not even hung on the new wall. Indeed, the unused wall was repeated in Daniëls’s work, and this gave rise to a dialogue of sorts between the pictorial and the architectural components. Precisely the fact that Genzken’s work was erected next to the wooden floor, transforming the latter into a forecourt for the sculpture, lent the exhibition an ambiguous char- acter. Wall and floor were deliberately not presented as the utilitarian components of an exhibition, and as a result both became autonomous. 
Text by Steven Jacobs - Original Publication: Steven Jacobs, “Unforgettable Places”, in S. Jacobs, ed., Works in Architecture: Paul Robbrecht & Hilde Daem (Ghent, 1998), pp. 22–3. 
Stichting De Appel
Robbrecht en Daem architecten
Scenography for a group exhibition
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Paul Robbrecht, Hilde Daem
Art Intervention
René Daniëls, Isa Genzken, Cristina Iglesias, Philippe Van Snick
Inauguration Exhibition
20-04-1987 until 03-05-1987