The publication 4RMS W VU was published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name that took place in Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (January 24 – March 22, 1998). The project had been realized in collaboration with the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, and the Museum d’Art Contemporani MACBA, Barcelona.

The installation by John Baldessari has been a perfect example of a fascinating intersection of recent history and developments of the time, but also a declaration of timeliness: the work responded to a proposal made to the artist for a specific context. The installation took place at Witte de With, in parallel to the exhibition Home Screen Home, curated by the American filmmaker Michael Shamberg. In it were presented films and videos created by artists and filmmakers: fictional works, commercials, experimental pieces, musical clips, and so on. They were shown in situations representing domestic environments. The situation of watching television at home, in the intimacy of a private place, formed the departure point of this project.

Similarly, the work of John Baldessari introduced the imaginary produced and accumulated by the mass media, and particularly the film industry, into the field of visual art. Generations of viewers since the seventies have increasingly had access through television to the best and the worst of what cinema has produced. The little window on the world has become one of the principal sources of information and education, from which we copy fashions, behaviors, words, and gestures. Dream and nightmare have emanated from television and from the cinema screen, transforming themselves into that super-world through which we learn to relate to the world itself. Baldessari turned this notion of mediation around, to reconstruct a language that can speak once again of the world and of the beliefs we hold about it.

In the work of Baldessari, reality and fiction are no longer opposed but have become one. Baldessari used a technique very close to “montage” in the avant-garde sense: the juxtaposition of apparently incongruous images, whose combinations create intense constellations of meaning. 4 RMS W VU. WALLPAPER, LAMPS, AND PLANTS. NEW used the wall as a support for exhibition and also as an instrument of plastic composition.