I'd give it to you if I could but I borrowed it
By Aimee Lusty
posted: 06-10-09
installation view custom biult bicycle, computer, speakers, computer screen, single channel video, color with sound dvd (running time: 12:00 minutes) edition of 6 + AP
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I'd Give it to you if I could but I borrowed it, Guy Ben-Ner, 2007 (video installation)

In order to view Guy Ben-Ner's video installation "I'd give it to you if I could but I borrowed it," the viewer must mount and "ride" one of the two stationary bicycles installed in the gallery. The video, displayed on a monitor mounted on the handlebars, is powered by pedaling the bicycle.

The video depicts Ben-Ner and his two children stealing parts from famous artworks in a museum, including Marcel Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel, Pablo Picasso's Bull's Head, Jean Tinguely's Cyclograveur and Joseph Beuys' Zerstorte Batterie. The works are dismounted, deconstructed, and reassembled together to build a working bicycle. The audience participation in riding the bicycle mirrors the characters in the video interacting with the sculptures in the museum.

Once the bicycle is assembled Ben-Ner and children take a drug enhanced ride through Munster, in a sequence re-imagining The Phonokinetoscope by Rodney Graham, again reworking a piece of art as he did with the sculptures. The video can be sped up, slowed down and watched in reverse, turning the control of the artwork to the viewer.

"I'd give it to you if I could but I borrowed it," was executed in 2007 and exhibited last year in a solo show at Postmasters Gallery, NY, along with the video "Stealing Beauty."

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