031011: Christine König Galerie G.R.A.M. - Parliament ?

Christine König Galerie G.R.A.M. - Parliament 14.09.11 to 22.10.11 The loss of the great gestures Under the title "Parliament", Günther Holler-Schuster and Martin Behr cite parliamentary conflicts that take a violent turn. Insufficiently detailed international press photos serve as a pattern. Together with extras from the stage world, Holler-Schuster and Behr reconstruct these and reproduce them in Graz's Municipal Council hall. The result presents the doer in a rather ludicrous light. Bodily encroachments appear to the observer as frozen images in an unknown film. The impersonated one gets into an absurd pose. The artist group, G.R.A. M., known for these "re-enactments" (1) in which, for example, they reconstruct anarchistic scenes from Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy films, do not, unfortunately, reveal anything about the source of the press photographs to us. We are not informed about the conflict, which wrecks those being impersonated; the context from which this craft draws its motive remains unrevealed to the observer. From the working list, one gathers as provenance that the photos are of the cities of Seoul, Kiev, Taipei, etc. but one doesn't learn anything more exact about the circumstances of the conflict. That's a pity, and it robs this art of a superior content and ultimately also political level. To isolate situations out of their context and to alienate them is a traditional method of artistic depiction. Admittedly, the wranglings of Holler-Schuster and Behr play with motifs of the classical history of art in their light-dark, in their gesticulations and mannerisms, particularly in painting, but remain primarily in an empty attitude. G.R.A.M.'s work also reminds one of the so-called Tableaux Vivants, a form of art of the "Living Pictures" which came into fashion at the end of the 18th century as a re-enactment of painting and plastic and which finds its representatives in today's contemporary art. For example, in their arrangements of the 70's and 80's, Cindy Sherman and Hannah Wilke thematize the exposure of clichés and feminist matters. In the 80's, Rodney Graham again skillfully parodied neurotic behavior. Up to today, dancers or artists demonstrate the body movement "compliment" as thanks for applause from the public. How the re-enactment of habits can awaken pleasure was also shown in Christiane Seiffert's photographic work, "Doppelt", presented in 2002 in the exhibition "Tableau Vivants" in the Wiener Kunsthalle. The artist posed on a ladder "chirping" beside a photograph of a bird in a similar pose. That had enigmatical witticism and humour, something that is unfortunately missing in the works of Holler-Schuster and Martin Behr. By Susanne Rohringer (1) A catalogue will be available at the exhibition: Re-enactments (1998-2011), Ediciones Poligrafa, Barcelona 2011. Christine König Galerie 1040 Vienna, Schleifmühlgasse 1a Tel: +43-1-585 74 74 Fax: +43-1-585 74 74-24? email: office@christinekoeniggalerie.at http://www.christinekoeniggalerie.at Opening hours: Tue - Fri 11:00-19:00, Sat 11:00-15:00

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