For The Bachelor Machine, Per-Oskar Leu arranged an impossible event at the fair – a book signing by Franz Kafka, 85 years after his death. Since none of Kafka’s novels were published during his lifetime, this book signing was his first. Using autopen technology and facsimile first editions, the project is both a humorous commentary on trade fairs in general and a complex set of links between sinister machines – the sentencing / punitive machine in Kafka’s In the Penal Colony, Duchamp’s Bachelor Machine and the innocuous yet deceptive Autopen itself, recently used by Donald Rumsfeld to sign letters to the families of US soldiers killed in combat.
The signing took place in the Koenig Bookshop, where copies of The Trial were be available as a reproduction of the 1925 German first edition at the publisher’s current retail price of £12.00.
Per-Oskar Leu (b. 1980) is a Norwegian artist based in Frankfurt am Main.
Recent solo shows and projects include ‘Like a Dog!’, UKS, Oslo (2008) and ‘Americka’, Torpedo, Oslo (2007). Group shows include Landings Project Space, Vestfossen (2009); ‘Snowball Editions’, Lautom Contemporary, Oslo (2009) and ‘Reality Effects’, Henie Onstad Art Center, Høvikodden (2008). Forthcoming shows will be at Brown Gallery, London (2009) and Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö (2010).