Art cannot forge a path into post-capitalism. To expect this would mean to unnecessarily confine art and ist agency. The aesthetic forms are incalculable, their tensions with the social and economic forms are complex. The best thing to ask of art is to keep the cracks open, to maintain and intensify contradictions, and to resist rash identification.
This exhibition gathers works that present themselves as models or stand-ins rather than as completed works. They give account of their embeddedness in economics and technology and let artistic design collide with industrial production.
Franz Erhard Walther’s works Proportionsbestimmung I & II (Proportion Determination I & II) were created in 1972 for Gerry Schum’s video gallery. Walther translated one of his early actions from 1962 for the camera – an objective survey of the operational framework of body and apparatus.
KP Brehmer combined conventions of visual art with the abstractions of statistics. In March 1971, 225,000 prints of his Korrektur der Nationalfarben (Correction of National Colours) were inserted into the journal Capital.
Cécile B. Evans’s film Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen probes identification and affect in the face of digitally generated personas. It is present in the exhibition in the form of a trailer.
With the film Enjoy Poverty (Episode 3), Renzo Martens explores the role of producers and consumers of “critical” art in the global division of labor. The sculptures of the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League, produced by Martens’s Institute for Human Activities, are replicas of clay sculptures executed from 3D scans in chocolate. The profits from their sale go to the producers.
Annika Kuhlmann and Christopher Kulendran Thomas probe agency within the form of the corporation, designing emergency equipment for the luxury market under the label of BRACE BRACE. A study for their life preserver Life Ring is presented in the exhibition.
In Heinrich Dunst’s work, the fragmentation of the work form and the precarious interlinking of various media forms that can be traced in many current works are heightened in a particularly pointed manner. He has developed an installative grammar that frames and subverts the exhibition.
Translation: Dawn Michelle D’Atri/Alena Schmuck
Our thanks to Eduard Fruth (www.fruth.at) and to the company Austrotherm.