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Scale of Proportions Which Makes Bad Difficult and Good Easy

For Henriksen’s 2006 exhibition at Standard (Oslo), he wanted to make a sculpture based on empty architectural space. In contrast to the standard ceiling height in Norway of 240 cm, he undertook a minimal intervention, lowering the gallery ceiling to 226 cm, the height advocated in Le Corbusier’s Modulor system of proportions. The title, Scale of Proportions Which Makes the Bad Difficult and the Good Easy, is borrowed from what Einstein said in response to the architect’s description of his plan for an architecture based on human proportions. Henriksen’s dropped ceiling, made of the Styrofoam panels familiar from low-cost commercial interiors, created a strange effect: standing underneath was, according to the artist, ‘like being underwater,’ making one think of Le Corbusier’s death by drowning. During the run of the exhibition, the gallery lighting was left on, so the sculpture – and the void left by the dropped ceiling – could also be seen through the windows at night.

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