LYNN HERSHMANN LEESON
THE YES MEN
1 DECEMBER 2012 – 13 FEBRUARY 2013
Preview: Friday, 30 November 2012, 7 – 9 pm
Numerous private and public collections are recently opening their Wunderkammers. DAM GALLERY is commenting ironically on this fashion in curatorial pastime with the special show „Meine Wunderkammer“. The selected works on display are not so much ancient findings as a subjective journey of exploration through odd and exotic positions in the gallery’s field of interest. The group exhibition shows diverse objects – from a original cheque of Roberta Breitmore, the alter ego of the media art pioneer Lynn Hershman Leeson to the sandstone-computer sculpture „Case Mod I“ of Aram Bartholl.
Artworks on display:
In the sculpture „Case Mod I“ (2004) by Aram Bartholl (*1972) a PC (DELL 386 DX40) from the beginning of the 90ies collides with a 40kg slab of ancient sandstone.The term „Case Modding“ is defining the visual modification of PC cases for aritistic reasons in the computer community. Aram Bartholl chooses a sand stone for his Case Mod of a by now antiquated PC-model and thus is once more shifting it back in time. The individual components of the computer are slotted into the different sides of the oblong stone and remain visible. The computer parts are connected together within the stone so that the computer is fully functioning.
Simon Biggs (*1957) has gained pupularity at the beginning of the 90ies with his oversized, interactive installations. He was one of the first artists to publish his net art on a website and has introduced a CD-ROM with interactive software works with a big circulation to the book market in 2000. „Book of Shadows“ (1998) is such an interactive piece which is combining the topic of metaphysics and identity in intriguing video images. Whilst ornamental image collages are running in the background, a poetic text appears in the foreground questionning the spectator about his consciousness.
The oil painting by the british painter Patrick Fitzgerald Moore is the first artwork been acquired by Wolf Lieser. In the beginning of the 1980er Lieser got to know the artist in Great Britain and took a shine on the romantic motive of a sailor boat casting off in the morning. The year of origin of this work without title is unknown.
Wolf Lieser’s fascination for Digital Art once started with an encounter with Laurence Gartel (*1956) in 1987. At the beach of Florida the US-artist showed him his graphics which he had created with a Commodore computer and a color printer. Hence the inkjet print „Energy Man“ is the first aquired artwork of the later founded gallery. The trained graphic designer was feeding own photographies into the graphic software of his computer and created colorful collages which he could print on speciality paper at the University of California. „Energy Man“ shows a standing figure next to a colored ribbon whose black silhouette is accentuated by abstract color marks.
In the 1970ies Lynn Hershman Leeson (*1941) created the artificial character of „Roberta Breitmore“, who was performed by the artist and later by three additional actresses. Within a long duration performance (1970-1979) the artist let her artificial character appear in San Fransisco with an own biography, preferences, acquaintances as well as an own hand writing, look and residence. Roberta Breitmore took part in sessions of the Weight Watchers, was posting a press advertisement for a flat mate and opened an account with a bank. The alter ego of Hershmann Leeson can be seen as a predecessor of virtual reality and the avatar. The object on display is a original bank cheque signed by Roberta Breitmore.
Manfred Mohr (*1938) artistic work was significantly influenced by the theory of information aesthetics by Max Bense in the early 1960’s. Mohr, coming from an abstract expressionism, thereupon turned to computer generated algorithmic geometric forms. Since 1973 the cubicle is the central motive of his computer graphics. The work on display P777-3 55 was made as a special edition in the framework of the publication of the |DDAA| catalogue on the occasion of Mohr’s exhibition at Kunsthalle Bremen.
The hungarian artist Vera Molnar (*1924) is one of the pioneers in computer art. After studies in art history and aesthetics in Budapest the artist moved to Paris in 1947 where she still works and lives. Molnar started working with computers in 1968 and was creating plotter drawings of which the gallery shows the first three examples.
Frieder Nake (*1938) is one of the founding fathers of computer graphics using mathematical processes for the production of aesthetic objects. The five coloured serigraph of a plotter drawing „Walk-Through-Raster (Serie 7.3)“ is part of a work series which was begun in 1966. Single signs are randomly chosen from a arbitrailiy given set of signs and are written on a drawing surface. The serigraphy from 1972 originates from the „Ars Ex Machina“ portfolio which containes 6 prints of computer art (Mohr, Nees, Kawano, Nake, Knowlton, Schwartz).
The Yes Men are netart-duo Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos. Since the beginning of the Nineties The Yes Men raise awareness about problematic social issues through actions of tactical media. In 2008 they pranked the public with 1,2 Mio. copies of a edition of The New York Times dated to July 4, 2009. The fake edition handed out in New York and Los Angeles shows their ideas for a better future with headlines such as „Iraq War Ends“ and „George W. Bush“ accuses himself of treason for his actions during his years as president.
In the video object „Les contraires“ (2010) the light artist Flavien Théry (*1973) lets white light fall on a transparent screen made of liquid crystals. The crystals function like prisms diffracting the light in a seemingly three-dimensional colour spectrum. Though two different informations of the light are visible at the same time: First the light information of the screen and second the light information been reflected by a mirror behind the screen. „Les contraires“ is irritating the natural perception and shows how one and the same information can have different meanings.
The media art collective UBERMORGEN.COM, founded in 1999, shows an objet trouvé from the bombed former RTS TV-station in Prishtina/Kosovo. Hans Bernhard and his partner lizvlx found a highly damaged computer platine on the street in front of the ruin two weeks after the bomardment of the city. The object is therefore coming from the Net.Art period at the end of the Nineties. Found in the last year of the outbound millennium, shortly before the boom-crash, this physical, marked object is representing the paradigm shift in Digital Art of these days from a mere cybernetic and digital hysteria to the human-machine-network hybrid.
The photography „Them Fuckin’ Robots/ male robot“ of Norman White was made in the context of his collaboration with the artist Laura Kikauka. Both artists had independently built a male and a female robot in 1988 whose sole operation was ment to be the sexual intercourse which then was also made within a public performance. The photography shows the artist himself in his atelier next the male robot in a humorous pose. White, who is considered to be one of the pioneers working with robotics in art, reads a „Playboy“ issue lying on a sofa.