080908: Kunsthalle Wien public space Karlsplatz: Gottfried Bechtold – Our ma

Kunsthalle Wien public space Karlsplatz: Gottfried Bechtold – Our man Everyone can be a politician Karlsplatz is one of Vienna’s most frequented locations. Whatever is positioned here, will be seen by thousands of drivers, bikers, pedestrians or people using public transport. Just recently a special poster, which could easily be part of the currently ongoing election campaign, has been temporarily posted at this location. The placard includes all the features of an election poster: the phrase “our man” next to a portrait photo, depicting a well dressed man attempting to conjure a convincing and trustworthy smile onto his face, a face which has not yet been overused by the media. He holds his head slightly tilted as if he himself wasn’t even convinced of what he was trying to convey. And the political party for which he is campaigning changes twice a week! The best part, however, is the indication of which party is campaigning: it changes twice a week. Gottfried Bechtold’s talent cannot be commended enough – not only did he himself concoct the hoax, it is his face on the poster. The phenomenon addressed by Bechtold is well known: the moment the election campaigns begin, billboards are plastered not only with well-known, but increasingly with new faces. And it seems that all they have to do is smile, try not to look too intelligent, and be the likable “down to earth” type of person. Party programs, concepts and competence are no longer important – the only thing that seems to count is having a scheme on how to reach consensus. Bechtold unmasks the primitive prerequisites for the future leaders of our country: white, preferably male, and conservative. Joseph Beuys already made it clear that everyone can be an artist, now Gottfried Bechtold reminds us that everyone can be a politician. “Our man” reflects nothing less than the revival of archaic scum rooted deeply in our social values. Inevitably this leads to the conclusion that this is what we deserve. But actually why not? Gottfried Bechtold for President! Kunsthalle Wien public space Karlsplatz 1040 Vienna, Treitlstrasse 2, until 12. 10. 2008 www.koer.or.at

Kunsthalle Wien public space Karlsplatz
1040 Wien, Rosa Mayreder Park

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