Friday, October 1, 2010

FischGrätinMelkStand curated by John Bock at the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin by craniv boyd

“Visitors to the show are invited to embark on their own voyage of discovery.” claimes the press release. It is a dystopic Disney land for adults. It is visitor friendly. Sculpture the would look at home in the fluxus era, installtions in spaces where garbage (ie: Condomwrappers) figure as a key element, video projections beamed on walls, video displays on televisions, architectural models, architectural renderings on paper framed behind glass and fashion items commingle in compartments in a multi-level scaffold structure that is 11 meters high complete with ladders, stairs, bridges and a balcony. John Bock has assembled a group of 61 artists to create and populate a big work for the final exhibition at Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin that is a Gesamtkunstwerk that looks like a childs´ tree-house fortress on steroids.

The compartments have clever names such as “Sexy Socks” and “Mutter Tod mit Peperoni” and tend to juxtapose two to three artists in each room. The room titled “Virus Meadow” has music and music notation from 20th century composers the likes of Edgar Varese and Iannis Xenakis. The room called “Module II” has pristine white Architectural models by John Hejduk in plexiglass vitrines on pedistals.

The overall effect that this curator is able to inflict on his audience is that of the punk rocker turned housecat. Making institutional critique that at first glance looks revolutionary due to its chaotic appearance, but under closer appraisal is accepted norm. How random is the work of art when there is a careful plan for visitors to take from wall-mounted plastic holders by the entrance? Labels indicating each of the artists names and date, title and dimensions of the art work in the appropriate place for visitors to notice is the marker of professional conciousness that makes this work clearly politically correct.

The final group exhibiton is able to exemplify the institutionalzation of institutional critique. The Structure curator John Bock has implemented for this exhibition ends up looking consistent and coherent with other John Bock instillations. by craniv boyd ©

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