presented by Daniel Baumann und Robert Miller
Dirk Bonsma, Margaret Brundage, Goshka Macuga, Jean Paulhan par Johannes Gachnang, Plasmatics, Seth Price, Psychopathologie und bildnerischer Ausdruck / Psychopathology and Pictorial Expression (Aloïse Corbaz/Philippe B. Felmer/Erika O./Adolf Wölfli/Carlo Zinelli), Rammellzee, Michael S. Riedel/Dennis Loesch, Wuzz Buzzin’
thank you for asking me to help curate room 5 at Kunsthalle Basel. I visited the newly renovated space just before leaving for Chicago and was captivated by its white cubish elegance. What can one do with a room that belongs as much to the office area as to the exhibition space? It’s a perfect bi-room and I suggest we use it, at least once, for the leather fringes, for works and projects that should be known to a broader public. I will send you material for the exhibition separately. Please feel free to add to my selection with complimentary works of your choice. The box will contain works by Rammellzee, Plasmatics, Psychopathology and Pictorial Expression, and Margaret Brundage. As previously arranged you are to install the exhibition; please do so with the highest respect for its intrinsic value. Say hello to Adam and Anke and all the Kunsthalle staff!
All the best,
thank you for your letter and your suggestions. I will include: “Trailer Filmed Films”, by Michael S. Riedel and Dennis Loesch; “Wuzz Buzzin’”, a fanzine; badges and flyers from Dirk Bonsma; Goshka Macuga’s archivist desk; Seth Price’s CDs (“Soundtrax”, “Industrial Synth”, “New Jack Swing”); and the enamel plaque with the quote by Jean Paulhan: “Il est défendu d’entrer dans le jardin avec des fleurs à la main” (designed by Johannes Gachnang). You wrote that we would use the space for works and projects that should be known to a broader public. And I’d like to add: that we love and whose language interests us. What do we want to convey in the press release, the exhibition, brochures, etc? Respect for their intrinsic value, as you said? The things are here or there and we are of the opinion that they should also be somewhere else, in the Kunsthalle Basel. Although they were not intended for this space, for this institution. People will think it is a representative selection and that the individual pieces stand for a larger context. For example, for crossover, for the closeness of art and pop, art and film, art and psychiatry, for a new interest in something. They will confuse presentation with representation. The institution is forced to work for representation. The Kunsthalle must appear as an exemplary place where the modern spirit reigns and contemporary art is shown. For feature thinking and to cover up the power relationship, which rule a work in the good and the bad and which we are also concerned about. Do you remember how we thought that Reception History and Cultural Studies would make it possible to investigate power relationships and to portray them appropriately? Only umbrellas, as a friend once remarked. Well, so be it. What remains is the closeness to art. I believe that Haim Steinbach and John Armleder suggest this to us. And the question remains if the aesthetic zone offers a new home; if an object placed in the aesthetic zone finds a second home. In any case, by being moved to the exhibition space, the works will be fetishized. Just as “Trailer Filmed Films” by Michael S. Riedel and Dennis Loesch, Seth Price’s CDs und Goshka Macuga’s archivist desk celebrate their material. Fetish is pride, independence and sex – not bad for a new home. Fetish, rather than objects to study; autonomy, rather than representation.
Say hello to Richard and Sally.
Daniel Baumann — www.denver.cn