The Delete! project, by Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf, was an "installation" in the middle of the tourist zone of Vienna, Austria. It seems like a logical consequence of The Untitled Project. In TUP, the erasing of all written signs was symbolic - made by manipulating the photos. Here, it's the real thing. It reminds me of an article about the power of Yves Klein's picture of jumping into the void (yes, that again...). The author (I'll try to remember who) suggests Klein's photomontage was taken seriously by many artists and influenced the artists that came after him to move into body art, where the artists' bodies were (and still are today) actually abused for aesthetic - or more broadly: artistic - goals. Here, we have a similar move from virtality to the real thing. Steinbrener and Dempf probably don't even know Matt Siber, but I guess it was just something in the air. Zeitgeist.
What's wrong with that?
For one, as this comment suggests, it is a rather naive critique of consumerism. Granted we read it as an actual critique. If, on the other hand, we consider it as a merely aesthetic realization, one could argue (as the author of the comment does) that the yellow signs are not really prettier than the original shields. Then again, one could also argue about the aesthetic value of Christo's and Jeanne-Claude's project - which doesn't (and shouldn't) stop them from making them. And if they could cover up the world, why can't others?
The one thing I found disappointing was the quality of the work, as a production: behind the yellow plastic, we can clearly distinguish the signs...
The work stayed on for two weeks. By week two, some storekeepers simply couldn't resist it:
Bad? Well, many other people couldn't resist either:
The idea also reminds me of the numerous artistic endeavors with burning money (starting with Klein's performances at the bank of the Seine river in 1962, I believe). This time, it is erasing, bleaching the print. The one thing that seems to make it quite different from the oldendays is that Delete!, just as Christo's works, is temporary. Which, of course, is good. And bad.
More pictures od Delete! here and a great Quicktime VR (360º).