1/15–2/1/2004

'neutralisation and cooptation' immobile (detail)


Westwerk
Admiralitätstrasse 74
20459 Hamburg

«target: autonopop»


Descriptions of some of the featured projects
   

Opening conference 1/15/04

Rahel Puffert: The truth of value-free
Abstract: In 1996 Maurizio Cattelan initiated an event entitled "The 6th Caribbean Biennal," an invitation for 10 internationally-known artists to rest at an island luxury-hotel for seven days, amid white sand beaches and palm trees. This parody of a biennals and Big Shows was not greeted with unanimous approval: the critic Jenny Liu found it cynical and depressing. A second critic, Alison S. Gingeras,
took on this criticism, in a defense of Cattelan. This text, "the truth of value-free," adds a link to the chain and examines a line of argument in which critical objections are neutralized and the artist´s approach is heroically depicted.

Franco Kroschewski: Media power and the underground
Abstract: This topic is considered from the perspective of a small-label operator and fanzine editor, with the focus on the give-and-take relations between record label releases and music-reviewing media. This essay is based on the author´s work experience in low-pressing/circulation record/fanzine production. The mechanisms of large commercial businesses are also addressed, with an occasional dose of polemic. It is shown that content, among other things, is strongly determined by fashion trends and relations of economic dependency (advantages for advertisers), while interesting or difficult topics are frequently ignored.

Tobias Still: Hairdo and meaning. -`Everything is pop´
Abstract: This as-yet unfinished text subjects pop-discourse to several different analytical approaches. The thesis which emerges is that intellectual discussion of pop follows the same rules as the well-known "Kulturkritik" and tries in many ways to be its successor. The break with the "demands" exacted by "culture" is presented as the decisive trait of their manoeuvre. It is to be shown, however, that this is only a pretense-of-a-characteristic. "Pop," like (normative) "culture," is a term whose meaning and function cannot be isolated. When pop-theorists of the postmodern consciouness call out that "pop" is essentially without criteria and self-defining, this says less about the democratic substance of "pop" than it it does about the adaption of an old irrationalistic Kulturkritik in its midst. The latter´s theme was, it is well known, always the "postponement of utopia" (D. Diederichsen): good for one more spin on the carousel. Behind this break with "demands," which hardly play a role in contemporary understanding of culture anyway, stands, in all elegance, an attempt to renew problematic vocabulary.


Exhibition Part 1

Michel Chevalier (with input from other target: autonopop participants): autonopop immobiles

colorful conceptualism  /  circles and curves /  infantilization  / 
pop adds value  /  happy, fun  /  '60s forever  /  lively range  /  neutralization and cooptation  /  fashion  /  cold/colorful


The two autonopop immobiles were designed as a part of an environment which featured thematically related works (zu Besuch bei Nagel, The Diedrich Diederichsen Listening-Room).

The larger one features 100 plastified reproductions from invitation cards, photos which I had taken in galleries and art institutions, catalogues, and art magazine illustrations, ads, and texts.
These were ordered in what could be called a taxonomy of commercial art production and discourse since 1990. I invented visual and catchword categories which encompassed various works which were not (usually) associated.
This activity was not a gratuitous execise in iconography. Its point of departure was the reductivistic charges often made against conceptual and dematerialist art: dry, unsensuous, etc. Instead of repeating all the commodity critiques (e.g., the Situationnists) which informed `60s-`70s approaches and are still valid today, I decided to adopt the simplistic (at least, in my opinion) visuality-imperative not as a content, but as a method. The visual "surplus" of market-friendly works, when condensed, yielded seamless affinities to the advertising/mass-production styles and management strategies of the `90s.

A smaller immobile with 30 plastifications examined the thematization of punk as
a case-study of commercial artists and consumer advertizers obtaining the same (neutralizing) results in parallel in the period 2002-2004, thereby revealing their structural homologies (Bourdieu) and common ideological bases.



Michel Chevalier (with input from Tobias Stil, Laeton Ward, Stefan Funk, Chad Popple, Asmus Tietchens):
"Quadrophonischer Kunstkopf": the Diedrich Diederichsen Listening-Room


This project takes as its start a 20-year survey of the musical judgments made by former SPEX-editor and current art critic (Texte zur Kunst, Parkett, Artforum) Diedrich Diederichsen.
25 groups were selected whose recordings merited Diederichsen´s praise between 1979 and 1998. Songs from each release are faithfully reproduced in stereo on one headphone, and juxtaposed (in real time) with recordings of other groups on a second headphone. These second groups were either ignored or criticized by Diederichsen, yet there is a case to be made that they better embody the radical and independent rhetoric Diederichsen uses to validate his comparatively mainstream choices. A sort of `liner notes´ are available, with reprints of Diederichsen´s original comments and my responses to them.
This project allows the listener to confront two `taste patterns´ as they articulate themselves in detail and in time, and to extend the process by exerting his/her own
judments (on the music, on the project, on the era in question) and to perhaps identify other taste patterns (in the exhibit, among the visitors).
This project also aims to use non-visual (but very physical and emotional) material, music stripped of its packaging, to examine the production and circulation of a `pop´ discourse that has also been very influential in the art field, on the institutional level, in recent years; to allow listeners to hear rare recordings by groups they may have only heard of; and to counteract the media-induced amnesia which favors a certain consensus-eclecticism and neutralises conflicts.


Exhibition Part 2

Jean-Baptiste Farkas (with input from exhibition visitors): Target Studio

theory-grabber  /  living-room-scaled minimalism  /  utopia light  /  survivor  / 
good-conscience generators  /  bourgeois is back!  /  walm•art  /  buy me/fuck you!  /  high level  ...


"In the second half of the exhibition Chevalier passes the baton to the artist Jean-Baptiste Farkas, who in turn passes it on to the viewers. Taking Chevalier´s analytical model and autonopop categories as a point of departure, the exhibition is transformed into a Target Studio. The request to viewers is as follows: find your own target; correct and supplement what you see in front of you. And, as a matter of fact, for a few days the rooms of Westwerk resemble a large analytical laboratory in which categories are developed and discussed before being printed up by Farkas. The motto seems to be: the more merciless, the (descriptively) better."
(Anika Heusermann)
A final presentation and discussion was held on 2/1/04. Filled-out forms were reproduced in the «target: autonopop» Magazine

Farkas´s special guest Jérôme Guigue made two contibutions, as well. His bar pégant is a space behavior modification (`pégant´ is Marseille slang that describes a sticky sensation as a constraint). For target: autonopop 50% Rabatt, the works from Part 1 were stringently hung again on the last day, having been subjected to reductions affecting different parameters for each work (length, height, duration, quantity).
 




 
Tumorchester, live 1/15/04
für deisen aben, live 23.1.04 (Auszug)
Chad Popple, live 1/23/04 (track 1)
Chad Popple, live 1/23/04 (track 2)