English summaries October 1 - 14

Aargauer Kunsthaus Dieter Meier – In Conversation 07.09.2103 – 17.11.2013 One-Man – Many Shows By Sonja Gasser The artistic activity of the Zürich artist, Dieter Meier, began at the end of the 60's with performance and concept art and has continued to this day. However, he is better known to most people as a member of the music group, Yello. Now there's the opportunity to get to know his artistic works better in the Aargau Art House in Aarau. Meier has a dispassionate approach to art which is surprisingly convincing. He repeatedly causes a sensation by among others, putting people in the focal point and encroaching on social hierarchy. In retrospect to his beginnings, he had his fingers on the pulse of time with this procedure: in Zürich in 1970, he tracked every person who walked on the Helvetiaplatz by laying a strip of metal marking their steps, a "confirmation of walk". As can be seen in the news reports from that time, in so doing, he catered on the one hand for attention and on the other, for perplexity and scepticism. Half a year later on the streets of New York, and armed with a tape recorder, he bought a "Yes" or "No” for one dollar and created a certificate with photo. It's the reaction of the passersby which, in both cases, constitutes the artistic work, whilst written concepts, documentary photography and press reports manifest and pass on the existence of the works. This use of different individual media, but also the tendency of the mass media for its own ends is a hallmark of artistic activity in the 1970's. A broadcast by Swiss television is interrupted and over a period of one minute, a fixed image of the portrait of the artist is screened. Telephone calls from outraged viewers promptly flood the broadcasting corporation. The 1945 Zürich-born Meier also receives a certain amount of attention in art circles which is bound up with the art scene of the city and Switzerland: a photo series shows the young Bice Curiger who, under the guidance of Meier, implemented a performance. Taking part in the Documenta 1972 under the direction of Harald Szeemann, he used the occasion to install a floor plate in front of Kassel's main station. On 23 March 1994, he said that he personally would stand on it for one hour. He kept his promise, as is stated in a report in the program, 10vor10, broadcast by the Swiss television 22 years ago. The newscaster also showed particular humour by informing about the exact place and time during the moderation when he could be seen in the next broadcast. Whilst his early conceptual works are less suitable for the public and rather create incomprehension, gaudy colourful music videos achieved great popularity in the 1980's. The joint success with Boris Blank in the electro pop group, Yello, is indicative of Meier's creativity in which appearances in different forms are closely connected to artistic creativity. A photo series from 1974 is composed of 48 portraits in which the artist plays different roles and poses. The embodiment of different characters stands, on the one hand, for the purpose of an artistic self-staging as it became known through Cindy Sherman. On the other hand, in 2005 he added new shots to some of these photographs and in 2012, added a video to it, so that a biographic development of these fictitious figures can be understood. Here, too, the conceptual approach and the continuity which run through all Meier's creative works, are evident. A conspicuous constant over all the years and up to the present is his characteristic moustache, whether he appears in public as a magician of photography or in a video clip. The Aargauer Art House invites you to go on a voyage of discovery through the abundant works of a, till now relatively rarely honoured artist. Besides photographs, sculptures, videos, performative works and music clips integrated into the exhibition, testimonials from newspapers and TV which contain witty details have also been displayed. Aargauer Kunsthaus 5001 Aarau, Aargauerplatz Tel: +41 62 835 23 30 Fax: +41 62 835 23 29 www.aargauerkunsthaus.ch Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10:00 - 17:00 hours, Thu 10:00 - 20:00 hours Museum Brandhorst Reading Andy Warhol Calculated typo with cat By Matthias Kampmann With large, green slit eyes, an acidic yellow cat's head looks out of the page. The typical, calculated, simplified line of the early Andy Warhol. The whole thing is an offset print from a clapped-out ink drawing which was coloured by hand after duplication. A page from "25 Cats Name[d] Sam and One Blue Pussy" by Charles Lisanby and Super Andy. Appearing in 1954, the book shows, on the one hand, the humorous mastery of the pop art star and on the other, it throws light in the context of an exhibition in Munich's Museum Brandhorst on an artistic passion of the artist which has long been neglected: the book. The show, "Reading Andy Warhol", in which over 55 works are presented until 12 January 2014, which he conceived as illustrated art books or whose titles he invented is, to date, the only one of its kind. That's astounding because it's hardly believable that there's still a facet of his life's work which hasn't yet been presented. But this isn't so and this project also leaves questions unanswered. The chronologically laid out project takes one through all creative phases in an almost mystifyingly hallowed atmosphere and barely only presents half of those which have hitherto been known as book works. Curator Nina Schleif, keynote speaker responsible for the Museum Branhorst was not only able to use the stock / in the house but also the depot of the Staatsbibliothek München .Furthermore, the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts contributed significant items. The wonderful series of 19 drawings for "Mrs. Cook's Children" (1952/53) from a private American collection is also on display. Unfortunately remaining incomplete and unpublished, it features the cheerful activities of a group of children over a day. Then the famous "Shoes" with which the literary history goes against the grain and mutates Gertrude Stein's "Alice B. Toklas" into "Alice B. Shoes". A sentence placed modestly under one of the classical shoe drawings. To finish with, perhaps, the culmination: "Flash – November 22" from 1963. Eleven screen prints with texts referring to J.F. Kennedy's death and the results of the murder quoted like agency announcements. Conclusion: Books, especially artists' books, belong to the core business of the stand-offish master. And he was a meticulous worker who rubbed the system up the wrong way. He left crossings-out and incorrect orthography in situ. Deliberately, as Schleif discovered in the cousre of her research. Did he create his cliché by such calculatedly placed negligences; this impression of the ethereally absent which hovers passively over all waters? What role does the printing and book design play in the work? The exhibition doesn't give any explicit answer to this. Instead, enacted in the half-dusk and with spotlights, is one of the reminiscences of large format screen print, wall paintings in gold or mauve, the typical fetish with which, over decades, he grew to be a giant through legends, stories and market prices. Light and space direction are reminiscent of the exaggerated docu-dramas by Guido Knopp. Sometimes one wants to mourn the White Cube. And why, as a matter of fact, does an exhibition about books not offer a small library in which the visitor can become a reader? POPism is translated, diaries, children's books can be purchased in the bookshop. All those titles would be wonderful to observe – and to read. Instead, objects like the "Index" or "A Gold Book" can be looked through, digitalised on screens in the multimedia room. And another thing: the first sentence of the press release is misleading. There, the question was raised as to whether he was an intellectual or just merely a comic reader. And it was said that Warhol had a "very deep love of books". According to the transition, it pointed to his fascination with bookmaking and landed at what is presented, in spite of everything, in the well worth seeing show: his own products. But wouldn't it be wonderful to find out what and how Warhol had read himself? The Factory Manager, whose work is so closely connected to his biography, would perhaps be a tiny bit more understandable if a little more research were done. Nina Schleif herself gave the impulse but said that the time was too short and referred to the catalogue. There's always good money to be made with Andy Superstar. There's no doubt that the exhibition will be successful. But cast a threatening doubt on what could have been and what could otherwise have been presented. But another time, perhaps. Art history hasn't finished with Warhol. Museum Brandhorst 80333 Munich, Theresienstraße 35a Tel: +49 89 238 052 286 www.museum-brandhorst.de Opening times: Tue-Sun from 10 to 18 hours, Thu until 20 hours Wien Museum Karlsplatz Edith Tudor-Hart: In the shadow of dictatorships Against the tide By Susanne Rohringer The Wien Museum Karlsplatz is currently presenting a solo exhibit of the Austro-British photographer Edith Tudor-Hart (1908 – 1973), who, as a young woman in the 1920s and 30s, created a social-critical photographic documentation about the misery of the Viennese proletariat. What is amazing about this artist is her extraordinary eye for composition, moment and motion. The misery among the unemployed in the First Republic, their protests and their helplessness are the driving force of these early photographs. Tudor-Hart, formerly Edith Suschitzky, understood photography as a media for enlightenment, as a medium for agitation and as a political weapon. Born 1908 in Vienna into a Jewish and social democrat family, she studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau where she learned the skills of photography and accentuated her visual talent. Upon her return to Vienna, she worked as a freelance photographer, provided several magazines with her photos and was arrested in May 1933. Tudor-Hart had come into conflict with the Dollfuß regime. Accustomed to the liberal and red Vienna, in 1933 – 34, the Christian Social Party came to power and countered all political opponents with crude force. During the 1930’s, Tudor-Hart had been recruited by the Comintern as an informant. At what time she joined the communist party is unclear. Immediately after the February-battles, Tudor-Hart left Austria and went to England. She had married the British physician Alexander Tudor-Hart and was now a British citizen. She continued to work as a photographer and, among others, took shots of the slums in London (“Girls in front of a bakery”). She took pictures of the Caledonian Market in London and the miners in South Wales. And she continued her activities as a secret agent in England. She organized conspirative meetings that aimed at fighting fascism. And although these were not large-scale activities, they will have an unpleasant influence on her later life. In 1936, her son Tommy was born. At this time her marriage with Tudor-Hart had already broken up. She was a single parent – which became increasingly difficult, also because Tommy had autistic disorders. She continued to work as a photographer and published her work in the Picture Post and the Listener. She never had enough money and Tudor-Hart partly had a very difficult time. After the end of the war, disappointed by the failed political hopes and also by Stalin’s policies, Tudor-Hart yet again became a pawn in the hand of world politics. Now was the time of the Cold War. M!5 approached her when Kim Philby was unmasked. She was exposed to house searches and questionings and she was told to stop working as a photographer. She now started to take photographs of children dancing and visit schools for children with special needs. The new socialist spirit is mirrored in these images. At the same time, these are fantastic studies of children in motion. Tudor-Hart shifted her selection of motives to so-called “apolitical topics”, which, however, remained to be highly political. Sometime in the 50’s she stopped working as a photographer. Hard pressed by the British secret service and with a seriously ill child she started to work in various jobs. She died in England in 1973. Her brother, Wolfgang Suschitzky, who had become a well-known documentary film cameraman, took care of her legacy. Together with Duncan Forbes, who used to work for the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, they made this unusual exhibition in the Wien Museum possible. Wien Museum Karlsplatz 1040 Vienna, Karlsplatz Tel: +43 1 5058747-0 Fax: +43 1 5058747-7201 www.wienmuseum.at Opening Hours: Tue - Sun 10.00-18.00 hours Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland John Bock – Im Modder der Summenmutation The soap opera of performance art By Roland Groß Thanks to Google Map we know where John Bock comes from: a farm in Gribbohm, in the German province of Schleswig-Holstein, somewhere between Itzehoe and Heide, An agency could not have thought of a better name for the artist. After all, John Bock is also quasi "contra-Friesian" - a performance artist with a tendency to devise and install bizarre stages and vigorous scenarios in which he frequently takes the leading role and grasps an improvising camera – and this on the basis of mysterious “trashy” scripts, enriched with lots of meat and fresh liver. In the meantime, the artist, born 1965 in Kassel, has also presented his work at the Kassel Documenta and the Venice Biennial. Bock studied at the Hamburg Art Academy. Since 2006, he is a professor at the Academy for sculpture in Karlsruhe and he works and lives in Berlin. The director of the Bonn-based Bundeskunsthalle, Rein Wolf is now presenting the Bock-show “Im Modder der Summenmutation” as the kick-off event for his start at the Bundeskunsthalle. Wolf describes Bock as an artist belonging to the “mid-career generation, a leader of the generation after Kiefer, Lüpertz, Baselitz and Polke”. The Bock event includes films, installations and five “lectures” performed live. In the centre of the exhibition is a kind of set installation, a shooting location for Bock’s newest production, which will subsequently be screened during the exhibition. Performers will re-enact some of Bock’s lectures and films in an altered form. In his presentation, Bock tangles found everyday objects and various identities into multimedia performance labyrinths. Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 53113 Bonn, Museumsmeile, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4 www.kah-bonn.de Opening hours: Sun, Mon, Thu 9-19 hours, Tue, Wed 9-21 hours, Fri, Sat 9-22 hours

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