Thursday, 5 July 2007

Skulptur Projekte Munster - Documenta 12 Kassel - The Gift


Is its reception also a burden of care and responsibility.

This is the burden of the gift received in the recordings of the ICF. All names have been erased and meanings confused and scrambled. This is the the whispering game of meaning and its distribution. Do not be alarmed if you have been reframed that is the obligation of the curator.

“The colour scheme is in itself a subtle history of previous Documenta exhibitions. mauves, greens and other delicate hues of beige all tell a story. In the era of post wallpaper culture there is both genius and lunacy in this degree of narcissism. The grammar and architecture of the space of exhibition speaks for itself.”

The impossibility of the return, of performing history, to a moment like
Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y in which the world of art is changed forever.., that is where we are coming from when we say, “Reality talks to the present but somewhere there is crisis of translation.”

Is there any underground left in art, an avant garde in the emerging markets of the East?

Hyper commodification of the markets. Everything becomes a subsidiary of the entertainment industry and should be measured by its standards. Harvey Kietel is better in Bad Lieutenant than forty feet tall in pastel blue reciting Shakespearesque soliloquies. How relevant or needed are the questions of these revenants that traipse through these exhibitions? It feels very sunday afternoon. There was a sense of fabulous vacuity. All works pulled out of any traction with the world and pushed into vague universalisms. The works are not given the opportunity to claim the space around them.

Neither pop nor hermetic but oblique. But any complex architectonic is collapsed by the poor choices of works.
The real difficulty is to shut down the mind from the industry necessity to see something in the work. And accept it might be rubbish.

The themes receding.
“We search for the essential but all we find is things.”
Leitmotiv: A theme that transforms itself as it repents.

Is it the gallery walls that make the difference?

What is the communist party going to do with the revolution "What is to be done"

If we must have nostalgic pseudo Marxism then at least let it be positive!

"People who destroy commodities show their human superiority over commodities. They stop submitting to the arbitrary forms that distortedly reflect their real needs. The flames of Watts consummated the system of consumption. The theft of large refrigerators by people with no electricity, or with their electricity cut off, is the best image of the lie of affluence transformed into a truth in play. "

1965 Situations International, "The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy,"

Hearing the conversations of twenty curators moving through the exhibitions of Venice, Documenta and Muenster we feel the tension between the hype and delivery of exhibitions that are self consciously staged on the world stage. One conclusion that can be drawn is that although philosophy and political theory have moved from the universal to the particular and the intimate there is a confusion about how these shifts in perspective are positioned in terms of curatorial practice.

On a global scale economics, militarism and ecological catastrophe are poorly articulated within the world media. Should we expect more from art?

The geography of art : Does the art world need lessons in geography. The local and the specific experiences of people become the universal content of artworks, the meaning of the real transformed by the logic of translation and distribution. Into the narrative of experience for the globalized viewer. How can we reflect on Africa in the Arsenale of Venice?
How do economics and politics always exceed the the frame or illusion of art and intervene in the world and make its structures of power ever more legible and brutal?

To answer this we must perhaps abandon Venice for Documenta letting the conversations recorded reply through the replayed amnesia of that City and its mesmeric currents. Our conversations were again brought back to the finite geography of a City. The finite geography of an Exhibition within a City and the properties of specific works in relationship not only to each other but also to what was not there, the ghosts of works that usually inhabit the Museum spaces, and the texts to contextualise the grand theoretical trilogy that we were asked to consider as a post to each location.

We were like the 1001 chinese visitors whom I took to be chairs spread about the colour sequenced interiors of the exhibition spaces. We were waiting to be used as support for an exhausted body.

In the conversations there was a tendency to drift back to Venice and power of seduction of specific works and Pavilions, The Russian, the French and The Canadian. To question again the thematic of Robert Storr and logic of the Africa Pavilion. Was it by chance that Storr had hung Sophie Calle in the Italian Pavilion as if to alert us to the banal strategy that was to be deployed in Kassel?

The Documenta exhibition was so slow that we drift back across the lagoon in search of random thoughts. The layering of curatorial decisions across the venues was intensely problematic. Although the supplied i-Pods gave some access to the approaches they were also deliberately obtuse. Our conversations accrue our likes and dislikes in small piles. The lattice of meaning spelt out; dull and anti sensational, artificial and polite. A profound distribution of ideas was not created by the distribution of key artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Hito Steverl and Charlotte Posenenske across each of the venues, merely a rather prosaic and iconoclastic modernist poetic discourse. This some felt was an ambitious and non hermetic game with the audience. Some thought it was fun that some of the artists popped up across different venues, we saw Kerry James Marshall misplaced once too often.

The history of performance documented and then forgotten was perhaps the most articulate themed show. The reanimation of the Trisha Brown work, the intervention of a contextual work by Tino Seghal. Lin Yilin work casually installed in a corner portraying the building of a temporary of a wall across a road. Jiri Koranda Actions 1976-77. But elsewhere we struggled.
What stops us in our tracks and remixes the expectation of the work of art.

“Come to the heart of Germany only to read the word, "Art "in your own shadow.”

The weight of expectation disputes both art or entertainment. What is the function of these liberal aesthetics, To be merely thought provoking would be enough!