Galerie Conradi is pleased to show 'Second-Hand Smoke' at Art Brussels 2017. This new installation by german artist Thomas Baldischwyler combines a dysfunctional smoking area and a text picture as part of the visual transcription of research into the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Interesting anticipations of contemporary strategies of self-optimization may be found in What To Do Till The Messiah Comes (1971), a book by Bernard Gunther, the founder of Esalen Massage. The volume is illustrated with pictures by the American photojournalist Paul Fusco that document people who appear to have cast off alienation in all its forms and perpetually massage each other, meditate, hug, and laugh. With its onomatopoetic message, the text picture picks up on this laughter, inspiring reflections on irony, its signals and legitimacy in 2017. Meanwhile, the enclosed work DER WUNSCHBAUM (IST EIN ZAUN) - quotes the German title of THE WISHING TREE, a short children’s story written by William Faulkner in 1927; the record cover is a movie still, a portrait of the director Werner Herzog from Les Blank’s documentation BURDEN OF DREAMS (1982). The quotations are similar in conception: visual surfaces charged with new meaning that insist on the spatial question of negative freedom and positive aims in a constrained reality.
At the occasion of Art Brussels Thomas Baldischwyler will release the new vinyl album „Arthur Boto Conley’s Music Workshop presents TBG10“ - a compilation with acoustic media-transitions (TRAVEL BY GOODS).