A few years ago, Eran Schaerf bought a coffee tin at a flea market in Amsterdam; a round tin printed with roses. He took a photograph of it so that the round top opening appeared oval and the edges could not be made out. Photo-copied on grease-proof paper and glued together to form a new object, it now looks partially like the tin and partially like its reproduction. Years later, at a flea market in Warsaw, Eran Schaerf again found a tin printed with roses, this time, however, it was oval like the one on paper, but made of tin like the round one. There are now three tins with roses: a round tin can, an oval tin can, and an oval paper can with the reproduction of a round can. (cf. E.S. in: De Witte Raaf, Gent, Nov. 1993)

But this little story of the tins with the roses is not over yet: With Eran Schaerf's works there is no beginning and no end, there are, moreover, references, similarities, correspondences. Some objects and materials prevail throughout his work: fabrics, threads, paper, printed materials. They appear in different forms and states of materialisation; they aren't invented anew - and in this respect comparable to language and its components, words - but used differently in various contexts. In Eran Schaerf's exhibition "Zaun-Town", Portikus Frankfurt is what it is - a container for art - and simultaneously a scene for fashion, economy, and religion. Hundreds of pallets will be arranged to a terrace-formed stage on which sequences will take place, interconnected by language/pictures/objects. A semitransparent curtain and an open sari in the entrance area of Portikus at once conceal and make curious about what can be guessed to be behind it; a long, orange-coloured strip of fabric printed with staccato-type text fragments telling of Indian silk fabrics, relics, and jewels (objects of exchange and trade possessing a certain spiritual "surplus value" in social life); and depressions and baldachins emphasising the multi-layered character of the space. Coloured proofs and text cards resemble storyboards, linguistically and pictorially commencing, interrupting, restarting, linking, and continuing the story.

Eran Schaerf was born in Tel Aviv in 1962, and lives in Berlin and Brussels. He has become internationally known through his participation in the documenta 9 in Kassel and Aperto in Venice in 1993.

Photos: Katrin Schilling