Books On Books Collection – Robert Filliou

Eins. Un. One. (1984)

Eins. Un. One. (1984)
Robert Filliou
Wooden die. 3 x 3 x 3 cm. Edition of 150 dice with handwritten signatures, signed ”r.f.’’. Edition by Armin Hundertmark. Acquired from Galerie van Gelder, 22 February 2022. Photos: Books On Books Collection.

This work first appeared in 1984 and has been displayed in several 21st-century exhibitions, including Robert Filliou’s first solo exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds in 2013. The constellation of 16,000 multicolored dice, each with all six sides bearing a single dot, delivers one of the more humorous works of homage to Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira le Hasard. With the guarantee of a single dot, it might be thought that chance has been abolished, whichever and however many dice are rolled. The multiple sizes and colors of the dice and the varied constellations into which they might fall per installation suggest otherwise.

Just a thought.

As Mallarmé’s last line — Toute Pensé émet un Coup de Dés — implies, even this thought emits a throw of the dice.

© Estate Robert Filliou. Photos: Ilmari Kalkkinen for Mamco, Genève; Matthew Noah Smith for University of Leeds; Books On Books Collection. Displayed with permission of Estate Robert Filliou & Peter Freeman, Inc., New York / Paris.

Further Reading

Filliou, Robert, and Sylvie Jouval. 2003. Robert Filliou: éditions & multiples. Dijon: Les presses du réel. See p. 91 for documentation of Eins. Un. One.

Henry Moore Foundation, Institute exhibition, Galleries 1, 2 and 3, 21st March 2013 – 23rd June 2013. Video of installation preparation

Patrick, Martin. September 2021. “Iconoclastic and Irreverent (Buddhist-inflected) Simplicity in Fluxus Performance and Artworks“. On Curating. Issue 51, Fluxus.

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