Artist: Ken Okiishi
Venue: Mathew, Berlin
Exhibition Title: Gino / Marcel Duchamp on Streeteasy.com
Date: February 9 – March 17, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Mathew, Berlin
Michael Sanchez has decided to stop writing press releases, so I guess we will have to write our own. There will be umbrellas and they will be spinning.
You may have seen this before at the art fair or on the internet. The presentation of the spinning umbrellas at Mathew* distills, like an email attachment or annoying gif animation, an essential quality that was perhaps lost in the manufactured glee of the art fair:
This is a plane of trauma that appears as if it could appear anywhere, any time.
There may or may not be a performance of Pina Bausch’s seminal dance work, Cafe Bravo.
One of the walls of the gallery will be painted in Chroma Green (which can be “knocked out” in digital video editing quite easily). If you would like to use this location for filming, please email the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Streeteasy.com is a real estate meta-search engine, much like the Berlin favorite, Immobilienscout.de. The screen-shots on view in the gallery are recent real estate ads for a studio that Marcel Duchamp lived and worked in on Manhattan’s Upper West Side from 1915 to 1918 in exchange for The Large Glass. That may have seemed like a good deal to him at the time, but it wasn’t. You probably won’t recognize the apartment from the hand-colored photographs included in the Boîte-en-valise. Photoshop offers hand-coloring possibilities that perfectly emulate the types of weird stains you used to get when the chemicals weren’t mixed properly. Photoshop also offers possibilities beyond this.
MD’s tiny “artist’s studio” was in the back of the building, and the collectors who paid his rent lived in a lavish apartment in the front**: the building, called “The Atelier,” had been developed with this sort of fantasia in mind. Artists more financially minded than Duchamp had been developing an entire block of buildings with artists studios on the back and deluxe accommodations on the front, and a few of these artist-developers became quite wealthy selling these lifestyle apartments. Duchamp’s letters at the time contain affects that remind us of our lives now, as we also find ourselves, running out of plausible options, stuck in some alien bourgeois subjectivity: “The Picabias are in the catskills”; “I am extremely sorry, after having promised to help you decorate the tea room, to have to withdraw my promise”; and, of a fallout from socializing with artists and collectors, “it has probably been engineered that way by spiteful people.” While living there, one evening in 1916 at “Cafe Des Artsites” down the block, MD tried to explain his developing notion of the readymade; perhaps out of frustration, he sprung from the table and signed an “old-fashioned” painting of a battleground that decorated the wall of the cafe, and declared it readymade.
This may have been the worst artwork MD ever made.
Here we go again, on the battleground, stuck in a feedback loop, spinning.
*This may or may not be misrecognized on this lovely West-Berlin street as a new home decorating store, Chateau Jalousie.
**In case you are interested, this lavish apartment is currently back on the market. After the Arensbergs, the restauranteur, George Lang, who made Cafe Des Artistes iconic in the 1980s, lived there. It is his renovation that could be yours:
“The Picabias are in the catskills.”
Link: Ken Okiishi at Mathew