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Artist portraits (30): Finger
Frankfurter Rundschau | 02.07.2002
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++++ The first association is of a biotechnological kind, Evolutionary Cells. That sounds like stem cell research and gene technology. On the one hand. Then you are possibly reminded of the Revolutionary Cells, a terrorist association situated near the RAF (Red Army Faction) which up until the beginning of the nineties admitted to undertaking militant actions against "racism, militarism and warmongering incited by the state".
The production collective, finger, is as far removed from acts of violence as Heribert Fassbender is from a male model. Insofar as it is a matter of the willingness to change, however, of social commitment and microcosmic investigations, the first spectrum of association is apposite. The artist's group founded by Martin Brandt, Florian Haas, Martin Schmidl and Andreas Wolf in 1988, which has its headquarters in Frankfurt at Alte Mainzer Gasse 4-6, publishes a periodical of the same name as well as giving lectures and making exhibitions concerned with everyday phenomena. It can be a matter of mushrooms, bizarre collectors and inventors, homely off-scene galleries or firearms from the police museum.
For Manifesta 4, the quartet (in the meantime Martin Schmidl has left and has been replaced by Claudia Hummel), as a working group of the Berlin association, New Society for the Fine Arts, has announced a competition for "self-commissioned design of social perspectives" under the title of Evolutionary Cells. Anybody can apply who on their own initiative wants to shape their social environment and thus take on responsibility.
The makers from finger are in no way concerned with merely theoretically working out social concepts. They want to see something practical. They want to find out where someone is giving a proverbial example from which conclusions can be drawn about cultural trends, whether it be in art, politics, religion or the economy. They are looking for "autodidacts or professional dilettantes who in a wilful and independent way work out a new structure in order to communicate their needs and thoughts and thus to further promote innovative and critical thinking".
What this can look like is shown by the members of the jury themselves, for example, Heidemarie Schwermer, who has been living for four years without money, the Happy Unemployed whose name expresses the objective of their organization, or Siegfried Schmidtke who has officially registered his family at the chamber of commerce in Cologne as a company.
Deadline for applications: 31 August; on the internet at www.evolutionaere-zellen.org. ani

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