--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
M A N I F E S T A 4

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PROJECT / EVENTS / TODAY / INFORMATION / FORUM / PRESS                      \\deutsch

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Reviews
Press Kit
Text Archive
Images
--------------------  
back
--------------------










****************************************************************
Social scrap
Berliner Zeitung | 01.06.2002
****************************************************************

++++ The Frankfurt Office for Public Order almost committed a grave case of art vandalism a couple of days ago. The city's guardians of order wanted to tow away a burnt-out car parked in front of the Schirn Kunsthalle. "For our employee it was not recognizable that it could be an artwork," the head of the infringements office for non-registered vehicles, Joachim Seidel, conceded full of understanding.
The scrap car is a contribution of the artist, Marc Bijl, to the art biennial Manifesta currently taking place in Frankfurt/Main (see BLZ 30 May). With his interventions in public space, the artist wants to address "social issues" and "undermine the perception of the world". He has at least succeeded in doing this with his simple provocation as far as the representatives of the Office for Public Order is concerned. But will the men from the tow-away service now see their work in another light? In future will they question each scrap car to be disposed of with regard to its aesthetics of dilapidation? In view of battered car bodies, will they start to meditate about the ephemerality of the object and their actions, will they transfigure oil sumps into altars of sustainability, will they even discover within themselves an artist at work on the "social sculpture"?
Unfortunately it is not known how the lives and perceptions of the world of the cleaning women have changed who earlier on, inspired by the best ethics of work, cleaned away Joseph Beuys' lump of fat from a bath tub. Precisely with regard to this artistic intention which calls itself social, the social effects should occasionally be examined.
The conception of social art as an intervention into social relations seems to be hopelessly old-fashioned. Bijl sprayed the word "Resist" in large letters on the columns of the exhibition building Portikus. In doing this, however, he does not want to call on people to resist anything in particular or to motivate people to some kind of social action. No, the semantically disembodied phrase is supposed to be read as a critique of semantically empty phrases and their representation as trademarks. In this way it deconstructs ultimately the myth of meaning of any kind of social commitment. According to the twisted logic of such theory of recent art, this is, in turn, a highly political statement.
The jury of the lucrative London Turner Prize has recently argued for the nomination of the photo of a toilet as a "compelling depiction" which stimulates people to rethink "places which we know". A resolutely working-class "Shit!" in this case would not only be the realization of a "social sculpture" but even amount to a rehabilitation of its substance: direct political action.

................................................................
von/by Sabine Vogel

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOP                                 M A N I F E S T A 4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
supported by //
       [Stadt Frankfurt am Main]    [Allianz Kulturstiftung]    [Messe Frankfurt]
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++