An image of The trainer

Svetlana Kopystiansky

(Russia, United States of America 11 Nov 1950 – )

The trainer

Not on display
Further information

The installation ‘The trainer’ 1992 was made for the 9th Biennale of Sydney, ‘The boundary rider’, which dealt with themes of the outsider, borders and exile.

‘The trainer’ consists of 37 wooden bookshelves, each filled with books that are turned leaf outwards; three boxing bags suspended between the shelves at equal intervals; and two standing balls. Spanning 3.5 by 10 metres, the large scale of this work lends it a formal association with totalitarian architecture, yet the found elements that it consists of remain immediately recognizable. Coupling gymnastic equipment with books, ‘The trainer’ takes up the tradition of the readymade. Two kinds of objects with disparate functions are combined to form an abstract entity that is not related to either reading or sport. This work has an abstract quality which makes subtle use of colour, tone and texture. ‘The trainer’ has an aesthetic precision that accords with post-minimalist art, and in the artist’s opinion, is “…part of a post-minimalist/post-modern strategy.”

wood, books, sport equipment
350.0 x 1000.0 x 100.0 cm installed :
a-kk - 37 wooden bookcases, 84 x 114.5 x 16 cm, each, 8 bookcases 4 rows x 4 rows
a-kk - 37 wooden bookcases, 84 x 86 x 16 cm, each, 8 bookcases 4 rows x 3 rows
a-kk - 37 wooden bookcases, 63 x 57 x 25 cm, each, 3 bookcases 3 rows x 2 rows
a-kk - 37 wooden bookcases, 112 x 39 x 25 cm, each, 18 bookcases 4 rows x 1 row
ll-nn - 3 hanging bags, 92 x 35 cm, each, height x diam.
oo-pp - 2 standing bags, 172 x 53 cm, each, height x base diam.
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Mervyn Horton Bequest Fund 1993
Accession number
© Svetlana Kopystiansky