Artists: Croco Chanel, Mitchell Syrop, Mikołaj Małek, Nobutaka Aozaki, Manfred Erjautz, Juliette Blightman, Bonny Poon, Sarah Staton, Margaret Honda, Stano Filko, Nils Bech
Venue: Spike, Berlin
Exhibition Title: There is no alternative
Organised by: Rita Vitorelli and Christian Kobald with Tenzing Barshee
Date: September 17 – October 25, 2015
Full gallery of videos, images, press release and link available after the jump.
Nils Bech, Pick a song with Nils Bech, Performance Documentation, September 19, 2015
Juliette Blightman, Lacan, girl (The World is full without you, 2011), 2000/2015, Video, TV, DVD player, side table, lamp, buttermilk. Courtesy of the artist and Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie.
Images and videos courtesy of Spike, Berlin and Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin. Photos by Linda Fuchs and Stefanie Sprinz.
Royal dragons – painted like murals on glass doors – are charging against some invisible rival. Seen from the front, they are clearly headed left. Their power and glory echoes the hopelessness of the mantra: “No alternative!” – as it has been uttered in countless speeches by Margaret Thatcher. No alternative to economic liberalism, says the milk snatcher. The only valid remaining ideology. It still is an oblique and gloomy topic. Consumer culture, as it emerged in the eighties, in the wake of the historical defeat of the working classes. Peeking at these occurrences through the smudgy looking glass that is a group exhibition, we ask ourselves: Is this bloated bag of crisps half full or even less? The excess volume, usually pumped with nitrogen, is called “slack fill”. Keeps them crunchy. The crisps, that is. The ongoing mechanization of the reception of culture keeps us equally fresh. The constant feedback is supposed to keep us on our toes. But we find ourselves stuck in the lobby of streamlined thought patterns: Watch it, think it, watch it … Violence seems like the only possible intermittence. Imagine a wounded wolf: “Attracted by the scent of blood but confused over the absence of a carcass, other members of the pack attack each other until they are destroyed.” Or the violence becomes microscopic, brewing like bacteria in the dirt. Like hungry worms that manage to escape, only to realise there is nothing to escape to. So what do we lose when epistemes change? There definitely are closures. But things keep being made in a certain way. Things do die and they don’t live forever. But there is water on Mars. Maybe we’ve just lost the ability to mourn. The historical loops that we are witnessing are important. It is equally important to acknowledge whether they cycle into a continuum or a vicious circle. And when does something simply end? When there is no alternative. But please, let’s refuse. In so many happy returns we do manage to make out actual shapes and figures through the milky glass. The human figure stays relevant with all its potential of distortion and disfigurement. The Internet can kill the land of Tina. There are enough artists’ proposals that deal with the idea of transcription and repetition, not as dogma but as insistence. In order to keep weaving blurry utopias and to not stop believing. Like the student in the front row of Lacan’s lecture performance: She’s not an artist or famous, but she’s in the picture, shy, charming. After all: The world is full without you.
a series of potato chip bags by Nobutaka Aozaki,
some live singing by Nils Bech,
a TV on a nightstand and buttermilk by Juliette Blightman, a diptych on glass by Croco Chanel,
a mannequin and patches by Manfred Erjautz,
a coloured performance and object by Stano Filko,
two pieces of paper by Margaret Honda,
a chair and a spine by Mikołaj Małek,
a composting device by Bonny Poon,
a shop on shelves by Sarah Staton,
and a commercial by Mitchell Syrop.
Text: Tenzing Barshee
Link: “Tina” at Spike