Tate Kids


Daniel Spoerri, Prose Poem, 1959-60

In this artwork called ‘Prose Poems’, the artist Daniel Spoerri has wall-mounted a wooden board which he once used for a table. He called these works his ‘tableaux-pieges’ which means ‘picture traps’. Notice how the objects which once stood on the table in the artist’s room have been ‘trapped’ and hung vertically on the wall like a picture?

What objects can you see? What do you think these objects tell us about the artist? What do you think Spoerri was doing at the time when he made this artwork?

Spoerri favoured the role of chance while making his work. It was important to the artist to display the objects exactly as he found them.

What objects might you find on a table either at home or at school? Think about how each object got there and why. How do you think their meaning would change if they were fixed on the wall and displayed like a picture for others to look at? What would these objects say to the viewer?

5 stories about “Daniel Spoerri, Prose Poem, 1959-60”

  1. Olivia Read, age 8, from England

    Once upon a time there was a girl called Victoria. Her grandfather was very ill. One day she came upstairs with a tray of food. Victoria placed it on her grandfathers lap and went away. He ate up the food and started to read some of his book. He fell asleep. Victoria came up and found that he was dead.

  2. Kaylea S., age 12, from England

    This picture is very different and there is different objects in it. I think this is a very good picture from Daniel Spoerri and I wouldn’ of thought of this idea. WELL DONE DANIEL.

  3. Matt Eskew, age 17, from USA

    It makes me feel like a bubble. In a world of bubbles. No one can describe this bubble world really. It mearlly exsists in a state of (insert pithy word here). This bubble world is so delicious. You can smell the pinto beans in this one can’t you? I can smell assortments of beans. Why arn’t there beans on this table? If you can smell them, but can see them does that spell trouble? Is this work saying there is an ominous age of pinto beania to strike the core of the forensic science infrastructure. Notice the spoon in the white bowl is carved oddly short at the end. The knife points sharply at the paper bag. This is a bad missfortune indeed!

  4. Melissa, age 11, from Wales

    A Girl…. A boy, It Makes no difference, A Child, a adult. Dose It matter? All The Things I see Are The same… A plate is a plate. A Table is a Table. Although You might see it differently… to me… A Life Is A Life, Smoking Is a Drug, Resist It Or Not? Live Or Not? Its Your Choice … Make The Right one!.. If You choice Not.. Maybe You Will be a lucky one.. not like the boy who this table belonged to……THINK!

  5. Kasia Thoms, age 0, from Fiji

    A 3D picture looks real and maybe even is