Art is the Alibi is pleased to realize Quasi, a new project conceived by Charlie Müller, a street artist based in Berlin. Quasi (2009) is a modified Casio watch who has a solid 18 karat gold case, making it the most expensive Japanese brand of watch ever produced. However, the rest of the elements are original from the 100 Euro G-Shock watch. Purposefully straddling both the art and commerce by having it be both a sculpture and a watch, Müller uses Quasi as a litmus test to explore philosophical ramifications of identity—both corporate and personal—through material, audience, and product design.
In Theseus' Paradox, a wooden ship's parts have been replaced until none of the original parts are from of the original ship. Is it then the same ship? At which point does it cease to be the same ship? When the artist cast resin parts into gold ones is it still a Casio watch? When the materials are different, albeit more valuable, but the design is the same, does that make „Quasi“ a counterfeit Casio watch, much like the counterfeit goods maligned in the press today?
The artist has chosen to modify a Casio watch because its affordability encourages a young street-culture following, the reception of which defines the watch and its role in society.
Originally created as a durable sports watch, a Casio g-shock watch is designed to imbue a masculine sensibility with its pared down no-frills design coupled with rapper and sportscar advertising. As a watch is one of the few accepted pieces of masculine jewelry, the wearer believes that the watch embodies and externalizes certain qualities of himself. However, if affordability and modesty have been replaced on its exterior with gold and a high price tag, would this reject its original core audience? By entering this artwork into the commercial market, Müller examines the ease in which the wearer sheds these plastic trappings in favor of gold, even though with this transformation the wearer believes the brand-tenants—masculinity, youth, and toughness--to be the same.
Perhaps, in believing the gold watch to be the same proves that there is still that inner Casio street kid ticking inside of us. The fear, though, of being encased in plastic for eternity, as time ticks away, sways the buyer and the wearer to go for the gold, hoping to encase his own youth in an quasi-effervescent immortality.
Art is the Alibi is an incubator and boiler plate for discovering international ideas and realizing them as artistic projects. Art is the Alibi's focus is fostering emerging and up and coming regions, both geographically and contextually. Founded in London, Art is the Alibi's headquarters have just been relocated to Berlin, the epicenter of emerging culture.
This special G-SHOCK model is modified by “ART IS THE ALIBI LIMITED”. Please be aware that this model is not covered by CASIO’s warranty.