March 22, 2015

Art Object of The Week: TRASHION at Kisch & Co

Wolfgang Müller in front of Kisch & Co shopping window, with MÜLLUNG (Hybriden Verlag, Berlin) and his records  STOPP und MUSIKEN (Squoodge Records, Berlin)

Do you love window shopping? I curated a shopping window in the Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg. Unlike literary curating it’s not a new thing to do: it’s been done before and, hallelujah, by nobody less than Andy Warhol. So when the artist Wolfgang Müller asked me to curate a shopping window in the bookstore Kisch & Co, I was super excited. Andy Warhol practically started his career in a shopping window: in April 1961, five paintings based on comic strips and advertisements were positioned behind the mannequins wearing the latest fashion in Bonwit Teller, a New York department store. In 1973, when asked if he thought if art belonged in museums, Warhol responded: “Well, I thought department stores were the new museums. Then they could sell the paintings off the wall.” And ten years later he stated that Bloomingdale was the New Kind of Museum for the 80s. Well, in the 2010s it’s Kisch & Co.  

Because also this shopping window exhibition has to do with fashion. It’s a display of Müller’s latest publication MÜLLUNG. MÜLLUNG translated into English is TRASHION (trash combined with fashion). In German MÜLLUNG is a combination of Müll (trash) and Sammlung (collection). But it can also be interpreted as an association of Müll with Müller, the artist, whereas the -ung refers to an action. The action between Müller and Müll took place on a daily basis, when sorting out the mail. As in love it’s the dilemma of our times: should i(t) stay or should i(t) go? Wolfgang archived the mail that was on the hem of going or staying. Like things that have no value but might acquire value in the future; things that had value in the past, but have lost its value; or things that have value at the moment but you know they’re bound to lose their value in the future. I’m proud that I myself am included in the book and it’s definitely an up-valuation of my writing.

Wolfgang Müller didn’t ask me to curate the show because I’m a specialist in trashiology. He knows I like to arrange things. Arranging is quite the same as curating but since you can pronounce it in French, it sounds so much better: arrangement. It’s great that I could do my first arrangement in the shopping window of a bookstore. Bookstores are my favorite place to hang. Talking valuation, devaluation, upvaluation, revaluation: I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I believe that the salespersons at the bookstore are the ones who know exactly what is inflating and deflating at the moment. Of course, Wolfgang Müller’s MÜLLUNG can only go up, which is symbolized by its hard cover in the color gold. The result of Müller's archival enterprise is on view in the shop window of Kisch & Co, Oranienstraße 25, and you’re kindly invited to attend and window shop for as long as you wish until the end of the month.

For more info, check out: Hybriden Verlag, Berlin

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