artforum Brandenburg killing it!

Something that has the body language of a wet towel and the attitude of a 1980s
child actor.
Herman de Lure
Disembodied/ at Leading Art&Research Projects opened on Wednesday night with
a show that certain people had beforehand labeled as „the long awaited missing
link“ and as „a pointer to the future“. Herewith primed I entered the unusually
windowed space of the gallery instantly appreciating the offer to contemplate the
outside world. I seemed to be the only adressee of said offer as inside the
galleryspace itself, there seemed to be an intense logic of navel-gazing at work, the
outside being considered merely in the materiality of pre-fab wooden laths and
photocollages, joined in a seemingly careless and en-passant fashion – not lacking
the pretension due, though.
The space was dominated by square shapes and square attitudes alike. One did
what one has to do these days: Riff-raff-style painting, sloppy consumer materials,
tie-dying, digital collages, a lot of color with a predominance of green. The showÄs
objects presented the dead stock of a world-wide-web leaking from a server-breach
(NSA? Anonymous? No way, no politics) and spilling its memory-space-occupying
guts out into a gallery space to be picked up by green(!)-capitalismʼs finest. I
overhear talk regarding the boredom of getting rich off of coltan-mines and refugeeactivism.
No politics, still. I get cut by the usual early career-arrogance and the
general despair in the space mirrors my own – thus far, nothing new. The feeling of
being lost amongst a crowd of entitled but depressed freeloaders is an impression
of mine that has become a regular.
So, for now the take to the weirdly befitting but usual solution of roaming an archive
of prefab wooden laths of sentences gathered in 20 or so active years in art critique
would prove to be as helpful as ever:
„With regard to the issue of content, the disjunctive perturbation of the negative
space endangers the devious simplicity of the inherent overspecificity, whilst the
metaphorical resonance of the very same negative space verges on codifying the
remarkable handling of wooden frames. Nonetheless, I find the works on display
menacing because of the way the aura of the virgin artist spatially undermines the
idiosyncracies at hand.
Although I am not a painter, I think that the subaqueous qualities of the purity of line
seem very disturbing in light of the exploration of montage elements. Equal truth
holds for the photographs on display.
After all, it must be concluded, though, that it is difficult to enter into this world as I
find the mechanical mark-making of the halo-esque comportment of individual
elements threatening to penetrate the accessibility of the works, leaving behind a
bland taste of eclectic chewing gum as much as the urge of calling for a diaper
change on some of the more juvenile pieces in the show.“
These sentences (excerpted from reviews of Rothko, Schnabel, Bourgeois, Sierra,
and Ackermann) could be joined in a seemingly careless and en-passant fashion,
here, not lacking the pretension due, of course. But as this text is not intended to
turn into a brute cock-measuring contest with a doubtlessly – but pointlessly – more
potent youth, I must head into a different direction after all – no pun intended.
So, I leave the generic prefabs behind and I decide to stick to the idea of the square
that pertains in format and attitude. I crossbreed this idea with the – more or less
desperate – mining for meaning that seemingly unites the artists and myself here
(and that seems to interestingly enough make the two gallerists hate each other – it
is outrageously entertaining to see them rip each other apart).
In between the whimsical wooden poles of resurrection and recreation that are at
play in the show, I am trying to wrap my head around the estrangement, the
attitude, the format, and frankly, the obnoxiously conservative comportment of most
people here. The square is tickling my soft cells and while still contemplating the illtempered
art space-manager from downstairs sipping on the free booze with the
eager arrivé, slowly the term „Squarisma“ forms the septic „long awaited missing
link“ between the all but grotesque individual scenes. Yes, indeed, it is Squarisma
that has taken a fond hold of the works on display, of the partyʼs members and
probably of a whole generation of artists, gallerists and art world entourage who
have given up investing into the perils of the real and are desperate but safe in
formally repeating a digital dictum written and coded elsewhere. They donʼt mind.
They donʼt care as they are carrying it with an entitlement thus far only seen on the
grinning maps of college jocks and Macaulay Culkin, even though I must doubt this
generation has ever heard of the man.
November 8th, Brandenburg ArtForum

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