February 21, 2016

Process Art. Its Manual, and How Not To Lose Your Cool

On Friday I went to a conference on process art at the museum. What is process art? Take Joseph Beuys’ multiple Lemon Light / Capri Battery - that’s process art. The problem at the museum is that this real lemon gets mouldy instead of drying out. But basically everything is process art in contemporary art. In the end, it will all disappear. It fits perfectly with my theory on Das Verschwinden des Materials (the disappearance of material). The trick is that good art turns into a memory image (while bad art vanishes totally). I know that sucks when you want to own something or if you want future generations to see it as well. So I visited the conference because I wanted to meet the ones who are obstructing my theory: the art restorers. Their aim is to slow down time so that the art work doesn’t fall apart that easily. I've talked about restorers before, in the embodiment of Franziska Klinkmüller, and at the conference she was sitting on my left side, and on my right side was Viola Eickmeier, who is an art producer. I could relax, but my companions were of course very tense, laughing ironically here and there, with all this responsibility weighting on their shoulders. 

I went to the talk of Patrick Peternader who is in charge of the Flick Collection in the Hamburger Bahnhof. I never saw Patrick Peternader lose his cool when facing an art work, which is exceptional in the museum world. A Dan Flavin neon light might start to flicker, but Patrick Peternader won't blink a nervous eye. So I know he must be doing it right and I wanted to know his secret. He told us how he’s handling art. Basically, when an art work is bought by the Flick Collection, money is only transferred when a decent manual has been delivered by the artist on how to install the art work. The ideal is that the manual is so precise, clear, and instructive that even somebody who is not familiar with the work and the artist could install it. Patrick Peternader admitted that this ideal manual rarely manifests itself. Mostly the manual is as complex as the work. My advice would thus be to buy simple art - simple art is the best anyway (take Andy Warhol), and to buy art à la Dieter Roth, like the moldy cheese, where it’s not necessary to have a manual since the idea is that it keeps on changing until it stops to exist. The only thing you can do is to put it under a bell jar. Finally, it becomes oral history. And hasn't history proven that the oral totally wins from the written one?  

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I had attended this conference on process art at the museum and it was very informative. I would like to be the part of more events like these. If you have any details regarding upcoming conferences at any local event space NYC then please inform me!!