The exhibition departs from the questions: What leeway do contemporary artistic practices provide, and whether to assertively avoid this imperative of immediacy, to performatively shift it or to critically circumvent the expectations? The title is more of an ambiguous call for involvement into the 'Now', oscillating between a decisive imperative and a rather disillusioning, artificial theatricality. The works included in the exhibition share a more diffused approach towards an idea of a wholly absorbing experience of time and presence. With Manon de Boer, Keren Cytter, Yael Davids, Edith Dekyndt...
Manon de Boer, Keren Cytter, Yael Davids, Edith Dekyndt, Katja Gretzinger, Lina Grumm, Alexander Hempel, Paul Hendrikse, Joachim Koester, Hans Christian Lotz, Yvonne Rainer, Eran Schaerf, Jochen Weber
Concept and Curator: Max Benkendorff
Make the Most of Now — a strong urge for 'immediacy' has been haunting modern art: Attempts to merge art into life, seeking for an experience beyond alienation and objectification. This approach can be very well understood looking at e.g. performance art from the 1960s and '70s. Is it possible, however, that this promise of 'immediacy' has already been fulfilled — albeit under a different premise?
The title of the show Make the Most of Now re-appropriates and refers to the slogan of a mobile provider's advertisement campaign. The desire for an intense and more real life mirrored in this invocatory slogan raises serious doubts about its potential fulfillment. It might be considered that the boundaries between emotions, experiences, intensity and their (medial) representation have gradually dissolved. The claim for an intense, ubiquitous and encompassing presence might just be another symptom of the contemporary postfordistic blurring of life and work in our capitalist society. Presently, as the economical paradigm has shifted towards immaterial labour, the entire life has become time of production. The 'Here and Now' becomes a new resource.
In this regard the title Make the Most of Now is more of an ambiguous call for involvement into the 'Now', oscillating between a decisive imperative and a rather disillusioning, artificial theatricality.
Accordingly, the works included in the exhibition share a more diffused approach towards an idea of a wholly absorbing experience of time and presence: Nevertheless in their respective means, they all are all characterized by a high level of emotional intensity. Considering the relation of any unmediated 'authentic' and 'live' event and its medial (mis-) representation, the 'real' is created artificially in order to be able to transmit a form of 'immediacy'.
The exhibition explores unlike forms of showing so-called 'great emotions', viewed against the background of today's shifted perception of time and experience. The included works are presumed to be capable of reflecting on so-called 'life', 'desire' or merely speak about 'personal feelings'. Their strategies are either performative or at least referring to concepts of theatricality. In doing so, on a more abstract level, they act as a template for alternative links of affects and desires; other forms of subjec tivity, recollection and presence.
In questioning the current status, the exhibition's intention is to disclose performatively how to elude, shift or re-frame the present expectations of what might be coined 'dispositif of immediacy'.
The 1972 experimental film Lives of Performers by American artist and choreographer Yvonne Rainer serves as an important historical reference and conceptual frame for the outlined context. Here, Rainer adapts strategies from her choreographic work and uses her dance company members as actors, making 'every day life' the material of the film. Lives of Performers being Rainer's first feature film — captioned "a Melodram" — extends her stylistic vocabulary to techniques of fiction and story-telling, therefore breaking with the then- predominant anti-narrative aesthetic paradigm. She makes artificiality become a means of analyzing the pre-conditions of her actors' 'everyday life'.
Yvonne Rainer's "Lives of Performers" looks for a valid account of intense emotions, which then becomes the starting point for a dramaturgy uniting "autobiographical fictions", "untrue confessions", "undermined narratives" and "mimed documentaries".
Exhibition Architecture: Max Benkendorff, Jochen Weber
Image: Keren Cytter, Der Spiegel, 2007; Courtesy: SCHAU ORT. Elisabeth Kaufmann + Christiane Büntgen
Press contact: Klaus Schafler T 40 121-42, firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening March 24, 2010, 7pm
Presse-Preview at 12 o'clock
Währinger Sraße 59/2/1 - 1090 Wien
Tuesday - Friday 1pm - 6pm
Saturday 11am - 2pm
Admission to the exhibitions and events is free.