The Laughing Cow® cheese is a symbol of smiles, happiness and sharing, but it also represents an incredible history of creativity and innovation. For this reason, and in preparation of the celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2021, The Laughing Cow®, together with LabBel
, the Artistic Laboratory of the Bel Group, has launched a remarkable series of collaborations, enlisting important contemporary artists to create its exceptional Collectors Edition Box series. Released each fall, these offerings renew the special rapport that has always existed between the brand and artists, some of whom where directly solicited by it, while others have merely used it as a source of inspiration.
In the eyes of the artists who create them, the Collectors Edition Boxes are full-fledged works of art. Each box offers purchasers a choice: to consume the contents, or to keep it intact as a collectible artwork. By jostling the logic of how contemporary art is perceived, as well as its modes of diffusion and its marketwith its annual edition at a very affordable pricethis playful contemporary art offering epitomizes the philosophy LabBel has espoused since its creation in 2010. After Hans-Peter Feldmann, Thomas Bayrle, Jonathan Monk, Wim Delvoye, Karin Sander and Daniel Buren, it is to the American artist Mel Bochner that Lab'Bel has entrusted the creation of the 7th Collector's Box. Available in two versions, it will be offered to the public for the first time as part of the 2020 edition of the FIAC, a partner of the project since 2016.
Humour, witty comments, paradoxes, ironic and/or satirical parody have all been part of the aesthetic arsenal of American conceptual artist Mel Bochner since the early 1960s. In 2010, the words HA HA HA began to invade a series of his paintings, continuing on from his renowned, derisive BLAH BLAH BLAH. Each letter, painted in capitals and in colour, decomposed the onomatopoeic rhythm into crude blocks of language, as direct as they were enigmatic.
The series of Collector's Edition Boxes, initiated by LabBel in 2014, was bound to focus on the famous cows laughter, sooner or later. Given his research and artistic approach, the idea of asking Mel Bochner to collaborate on the project soon appeared as the natural choice. The proposal quickly met with the artists approval. After responding favourably to this invitation, Mel Bochner appeared on Skype with a vintage Laughing Cow® mug. According to the artist, the ubiquitous proliferation of the brands logo reminded him of how mysterious the effigys smile was, even prompting him to declare: The Laughing Cow® is the Pop art equivalent of the Mona Lisa.
His proposal for Bel, and the seventh edition of the Collector's series, questions the multiple ways in which the cows laughter manifests itself and is transmitted, leading onto larger questions concerning nature, reason and origins. After all, who laughs at what, why and how? It will be up to collectors to find the answers.
Mel Bochner is one of the first artists to develop a practice identified as conceptual. Using painting, drawing, architectural contexts, sculpture and photography, his process-based practice questions the always uncertain relations between the world and the way we understand, experience and represent it.
Mel Bochner was born in Pittsburgh in 1940 and lives in New York. He has exhibited at the Dia:Beacon, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Jewish Museum in New York, Yale University Art Gallery in New Heaven, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery in London, and Haus Der Kunst in Munich.