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Art Talk Live: The Abject Object—Decay and Irreverence in Dieter Roth’s Multiples

This molded sculpture depicts a small rabbit lying down with ears extended and front limbs outstretched in near profile view. Small, spherical shapes and bits of yellow can be seen throughout the sculpture, giving it a roughly textured surface.
Dieter Roth, Swiss, Shit Hare, 1975. Dirt, straw, hay, and rabbit droppings, pressed into a mold. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Purchase in memory of Eda K. Loeb, 2001.50. © Dieter Roth Estate/Hauser & Wirth.

Gallery Talk

This event was recorded. Please view the talk here.

Known for his iconoclastic use of nontraditional artistic materials, ranging from chocolate to playing cards to animal excrement, artist Dieter Roth (1930–1998) underscored processes of decomposition in his work. Curatorial fellow Lauren Hanson considers how Roth’s “decay objects” from the 1960s and ’70s harness self-deprecating humor to challenge notions of originality, artistic genius, and the museum as a site of preservation.

Led by:
Lauren Hanson, Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art

This talk will take place online via Zoom. Free admission, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.

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Art Talks Live are presented via Zoom every other Tuesday and offer an up-close look at works from our collections with our team of curators, conservators, fellows, and graduate students.