Reactor

An Artist’s Narco-Namaste Yoga Mat

by Hrag Vartanian on March 28, 2014

Jon Kessler's yoga mat

Jon Kessler’s $80 yoga mat (via the artist)

Nothing says yoga quite like a mat that looks like a $100 bill with a razor blade, broken mirror, and lines of cocaine on it. One encourages relaxation of a certain type, while the other offers a more jittery variety of downtime that feels very much up.

JKessler_YogaMat_Detail320

A detail of Kessler’s yoga mat

Designed by New York–based artist Jon Kessler, the object is part of a series of yoga mats by Grey Area, which includes versions created by Daniel Arsham, Wim Delvoye, and others.

The sales blurb for Grey Area’s yoga mats is so very insightful, as it suggests: “If you consider the many hours people spend staring at their mats, often in a grounded and conscious state, unencumbered by their mind’s preoccupations, they are in an ideal condition for viewing art.” And, in case you were worried that Kessler was going to obscure his objet d’art with a blizzard of pretentious theory explaining the basis for his idea, he seems to say “fuck it” and tell it like it is. Commentary on his mat, from the site:

Instead of rolling up the yoga mat to close a nourishing experience, the artist forces a shift; the practitioner rolls up a printed $100 bill as if about to ingest cocaine.

Precisely. When reached for comment, Kessler told Hyperallergic, “I missed Kokie’s, and this is my monument to it. We don’t need another fucking yoga studio!” Kokie’s Place was an infamous bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, known for its powdery amusements until it was shut down in 2001.

Yoga mats aren’t the only place coke culture has permeated; lest we forget iSnort, that short-lived iPhone app that probably wasn’t better than the real thing:

Kessler’s yoga mat is available at the Guggenheim shop and Grey Area.

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