Christian Bök

Mona Lisa Muji
October 4th – 21st, 2023


‘Imagine a painting that smiles

just once in a billion years.’

— Yoko Ono

Christian Bök, the fabled author of Eunoia, has turned his attention to Art, taking inspiration from the playfulness of Fluxus (particularly the conceptualism of Yoko Ono). Mona Lisa Muji constitutes a series of mosaics, all featuring QR codes made from hundreds of tiles of Lego. Each code, when translated by a cellphone, reveals a surprise for the viewer — an invitation: ‘Smile.’ La Gioconda by Leonardo Da Vinci depicts the smile of Lisa Gherardini, a ‘jocund’ mother, whose grin calls to mind the enigma of a sphinx who knows a secret that no one else knows. Even though the images from Mona Lisa Muji refer to the cryptic quality of this painting from the Renaissance, these QR codes also take their inspiration from Film No. 5, entitled Smile, by Yoko Ono, whose movie attenuates an act of grinning by John Lennon, extending his smile into a slowed action that takes almost an hour to perform. Each Lego work strives to induce delight in viewers, curious enough to interact with it when using their cameras to decode it. This exhibit also features sets of paintings made by ‘interfusing’ pairs of jigsaw puzzles published by two different companies, both of which have, nevertheless, used the same die cut to depict two different, canonical paintings. Bök has then solved these two puzzles, interbraiding their elements into two new images that represent abstractions derived from the original artworks. All the items in this show celebrate the ‘ludic’ ploys of Art in the history of geometrical abstraction.