• We 13.09
  • Th 14.09
  • Fr 15.09
  • Sa 16.09
  • Su 17.09, 13:30h

©Art & Language, Courtesy the Artists and Lisson Gallery

Kunstsaele Berlin

performed by The Jackson Pollock Bar
17 SEP, 13.30—14.30pm

Art & Language Speaking of 'Nobody Spoke'

The Jackson Pollock Bar is concerned with the "installation" of theory. The theories of theoreticians, and indeed the theoreticians themselves, no longer form a neutral abstract background (flip side) to the aesthetic. They have developed in a way, so as to constitute its material. The "aesthetic" has become discursive and "discourse" has become aesthetic. That is the implosion of art and language. Theories and art works are thoroughly distinctive only insofar as first-order levels of observation (in the sense of cognitively active seeings, hearings etc.) are identified in logical and qualitative terms. Developments in the semantics of systems of communication - particularly in connection with self description in autopoietic systems - have led to an operational closure. As a consequence, the paradigm of the work of art as the privileged constituent of "the exhibition" is no longer tenable: the world has become an exhibtion, an exhibition which consists of obersvations. The conventional show, or exhibition, is no longer linked by necessity to the process of exhibiting. To exhibit something is simply to render it observable with a communicative purpose. The exhibition or show has, therefore, become a special case - a methodological site of the reflexively self-observing (second order) exposition of observations. Theories which develop a consciousness of their position in the course of a communicative process must necessarily pay attention to the way they are observed: they must be exhibited. It is important that the installation ruptures the sense of theory as something authentically direct. Through this rupture an awareness of concreteness and artificiality together with contextuality is created; this facilitates the production of observations of a second order type. (Brecht's "V-effect" was aimed at something similar). The theoretical "presence" is diversified between author, work, interpretation and performance - which is itself diversified between sound and picture or image. In this connection, the playback method has been developed. This is not playback with a mimetic purpose, but a vocal performance of coarse texture which is experienced as a relatively autonomous redoubling of the putative "original". The appropriate locations for theory installations are where art's objects and spaces tend to overlap and to merge with talk and other processes of human communication. They might be the margings of art sites, or bars and foyers, or be connected with such events as openings and symposiums.

C.M. 1997