Koln: VIce Vera, 1968

33 x 5 x 7cm, original wholemeal bread loaf with a pink plastic thermometer enclosed (usually described as baked in but this is unlikely the process as the plastic of the object is not melted) and on the underneath a signed Vice Versand label (Vostell in black ink). One of a supposed “unlimited” edition which is usually assumed to be Vostell’s protest against the oppression of the Czech people by the Soviet Union after the Prague Spring of 1968. One side of the bread is painted in gold (which over time has lost much of its colour) which represents Prague (the “golden” city) and the thermometer supposedly a symbol of the “heat” between the communist state and those trying to bring greater freedom to their country.

Each example within the edition was unique (and both blue and pink thermometers were used). This loaf of bread is mostly complete (a small section of surface has dropped off) and has been repaired by gluing two parts back together again. Almost all examples of this famous object multiple are damaged as bread is not the easiest of materials to conserve – given that fact of the repair this still looks good and the damage is minimised. The number of these multiples surviving is not known but it is far fewer than being “unlimited”.

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