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Phase 2: Trans-Actions
Dealing with— Some books, visuals, and works related to American Fine Arts, Co.
Art Club 2000, Patterson Beckwith, J. St. Bernard, John Dogg, Jackie McAllister, James Meyer
at Halle fuer Kunst, Lueneburg, and Stephan Dillemuth, Loretta Fahrenholz, Karl Holmqvist,
Phillip Zach at Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lueneburg
Carissa Rodriguez, Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lueneburg
Curated by Julia Moritz in cooperation with Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lueneburg,
Valérie Knoll and Hannes Loichinger, Halle fuer Kunst, Lueneburg, and Magnus Schaefer, Berlin
28 May – 11 July 2011, Opening: Friday 27 May 2011
5–7pm, Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lueneburg
7–9pm, Halle fuer Kunst
Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Campus Hall 25
Opening hours: Tues–Thurs, Sat, 2pm–6pm
Halle fuer Kunst, Reichenbachstr. 2, D–21335 Lueneburg
Opening hours: Wed–Sun, 2pm–6pm
The exhibition »Demanding Supplies – Nachfragende Angebote« is divided into three successive
phases. It presents various artistic positions on the subject of art and the market. Within the
exhibition architecture »Enabling Space«, previously realized by the group nOffice (Markus
Miessen, Ralf Pflugfelder, Magnus Nilsson), Phase 2 of the project – »Trans-Actions« – unfolds
as two presentations closely tied to one another, both in terms of space and content:
»Secrétaires« and »Dealing with— Some books, visuals, and works related to American Fine Arts,
Taking the New York gallery American Fine Arts, Co. as an example, the exhibition discusses a
recent art historical phenomenon in which modes of commercial and artistic practice – usually
regarded as mutually exclusive – were brought together in a distinctive form. Such is the case
with American art historian James Meyer’s curated exhibition »What happened to the Institutional
Critique,« a relatively commercially unviable, yet conceptually groundbreaking contribution to
institution-critical discourse – and still a show on sale within the rooms of that gallery.
The exhibition was held within the program of American Fine Arts, Co., in addition to attempts
to transgress the traditional roles in the art field in the direction of mass cultural
appropriation, as pursued by the collective Art Club 2000, for example.
Also Colin de Land (1955-2003) – the gallery’s founder, owner and meanwhile a legendary figure
in his own right – acted in a way that at first glance appears contradictory. Circumventing a
fixed gallery program, he was involved in several art projects himself under various
pseudonyms, realized art-theoretical seminars for collectors that then again served to
keep the gallery’s financial head above water, and was also instrumental in founding the
Armory Show, now one of the world’s most important international art fairs.
This example clearly elucidates both the process of the increasing deconstruction of a
notion of art and criticality founded on autonomy as well as that of an increasingly
professional flexibilization. »Dealing with—« asks about the manifestations, conditions
and consequences of these kinds of tendencies toward de-differentiation in the artistic field.
American Fine Arts, Co. served as an early platform and significant source of inspiration for
many of today’s established artists. On what was the historical moment of this peculiar group
portrait of late 20th century artistic and theoretical discourse founded? How did it garner
symbolic and material value? And how can we analyze and discuss their distinctive strategies
without succumbing to hagiographic reconstruction? The gallery’s magnetism continues for the
most recent generation of young curators, critics, art dealers and artists – and at the same
time it also raises a number of questions.
»Dealing with— « was developed and realized in cooperation with the curatorial team of the
Halle fuer Kunst – Valérie Knoll and Hannes Loichinger – and Berlin-based art
historian Magnus Schaefer. It provides a nuanced insight into the archives and artistic
inquiries of a creative field that extends far beyond New York City, where American Fine
Arts, Co. stood at its center. »Dealing with— « leads its investigation of the interplay
of symbolic and material valorization, conformity and deviance as well as the negation and
affirmation of the commercial in the field of art using the example of American Fine Arts,
Co., but also in more general terms.
The Halle fuer Kunst shows a comprehensive presentation of the gallery library,
never-before-seen documents from the gallery archive specially arranged by artists and art
historians in vitrines along with a selection of artworks that Colin de Land himself was
involved in conceiving. For the Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Stephan
Dillemuth, Loretta Fahrenholz, Karl Holmqvist and Phillip Zach translate these questions
into new artistic works: Stephan Dillemuth reflects on his collaboration with Colin de
Land with a new presentation of specific fragments of his exhibition at American Fine Arts,
Co. He will be discussing his approach – which he refers to as »bohemistic research« – in an
artist's talk with curator Axel John Wieder. Filmmaker Loretta Fahrenholz shows her feature film »HAUST« (2010).
The screening will be accompanied by an insight into Colin de Land’s video and super-8 films,
which are now housed in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Karl Holmqvist – a long-time, active user of the
gallery library – works with a characteristic selection of certain titles in the collection.
Finally, Phillip Zach conducted research at the American Fine Arts, Co.
estate in New York. Fragments of his discursive findings can be seen in the text installation
crossing through the exhibition spaces. Additional seminars, workshops and lectures will be
held at both exhibition sites.
Parallel to these discussions on the mechanisms of art markets, artist Carissa Rodriguez
highlights the problem of professional positioning in the art world. Her role is also a
two-sided one: On the one hand, she shows work in galleries as artist, while at the same
time she also works as co-director of Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York, a gallery
named after a fictional character penned by the artist group Bernadette Corporation. This
preoccupation with the working conditions of artists on the art market therefore plays a
significant role in Rodriguez’ work. Also on view in the exhibition is her installation
»Secrétaires,« an arrangement of dysfunctional desk furniture, combined with the artist’s
selection of ads from the art magazine Artforum, which is famous not least for its
combination of advanced art discourse and excessive gallery advertising. Rodriguez expanded
her work to include one important aspect for its presentation at Kunstraum of Leuphana
University of Lueneburg; with it, she emphasizes both the generative blur between reality
and fiction and the inevitable simultaneity of social inclusion and exclusion as a
constitutive mechanism of glamour.
Mon 6 June 2011, 7pm SCALA Cinema, Apothekenstr. 17, D-21335 Lueneburg, +49 4131 2243224
Film screening of John Waters’ »Pecker«. & Loretta Fahrenholz’ »HAUST«,
introduction by Valérie Knoll
Sat 18 June 2011, 7pm, Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lueneburg
Artist’s talk Axel John Wieder & Stephan Dillemuth with Hannes Loichinger & Julia Moritz
Thurs 30 June 2011, 8pm Halle fuer Kunst (in German)
Lecture by Magnus Schaefer: »Unpacking the library« (in German)
Thurs 7 July 2011 Awards ceremony for the »Daniel Frese Prize for Contemporary Art«
November 2011 Opening Phase 3 of »Demanding Supplies – Nachfragende Angebote«
The exhibition is based on a cooperation between Kunstraum of Leuphana University of Lueneburg
and the project KIM (Innovation Incubator at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg), which is supported by the EFRE programme
of the European Union and the state of Lower Saxony, as well as the Halle fuer Kunst, Lueneburg for »Dealing with—«.