Verschw. i. d. Kunst


Foto: Manuel Nagel

Considering the plentyness of Installations, Performances, Pictures and Concepts – it seems almoste impossible to introduce into all this and all the variations, developed since the first Camouflash edition in October 2007 in the Patio Art Centre in Lodz. However Art-Practice (to say it with an expresion by Pierre Bourdieu) aquiers commentaries (as the German philosopher and sociologist Arnold Gehlen has observed already in the 1960th). It seems that also for the todays verinssage there was a need for some ritual words after the introducing performance. Interpretations and reflections may exonerate the event from all the contingency that is in fact the very basis of it.
We can start from the shrewd title, which means both the Hiding and covering and its opposition, the lightning flash that reveals and uncovers all reality without mercy. Both aspects are a central element within all human action: Man wanted to masquerade himself (like the philosopher Helmuth Plessner pointed out) and at the same time he tries to express his thinking and felling. Insofar all human beings are „insondable“. Today’s Arts reflects this more clearly then ever before. To take an example, Charly Citron shows this in a series of photographs, in which the protagonist is presented as a marionette that finds in this “surreal artificiality” his ambiguous identity - an insecurity from which also famous or ‘public’ people and stars are not expected, like Olga Bergmann shows. The polish curator Mariusz Soltysik compared flash with this „ultimate short yet spectacular explosion“, that is followed “by the collapse of a massive star“. For the contemporary mass-culture he draws as a parallel phenomenon that “flash is the one and only opportunity to step out of obscurity before disappearing and being absorbed by the mass”. That might be linked with the diagnosis of the social illness of materialism and consumerism in modern western societies: than flash also referrers to a short lived desire (Anna Macleod).
But this differentiation between individual authenticity and alienated mass might be already a wrong opposition: Today we consider rather a melting together of all dimensions of culture. The propagated dissolving of exclusivity and elitist claim of the fine Arts, seem to give way to recombination’s of different symbolic systems in arts, architecture or in literature. In this process that is often perceived as a cultural democratization it appears as if the deep rift between high-culture for the “educated” and the aesthetic every-day-life products for the “ignorant” is really surmounted. But the tension between this cultural spheres is less dissolved by synthesis or by „reconciliation" but by processes of trivialization. This aspect has to be also reflected by contemporary-arts, who aims to be critical an produce often a sacralization of ‘trivial’ things.
Another interleaving exists between the endless possibilities of consumerism and the (also intellectual) feeling of contingency. Omnipresent becomes the impression that all things could be completely different, and that everything that is thought ore done implies the non-realized possibilities. The absorption of Mountains in the Video by Sara Pfrommer is like an illustration of this principle. This seems to be contradicted by a arising fascination on the category of space – probably a point of reference within the motives of escape and the search for “Geborgenheit” in the works of Higuchi und Kaihatsu.
Anja Tabitha Rudolph added to this considerations another dimension of the projects title: She spoke about the “Disappearing in the Arts”. On the first sight this remembers on all the post-structuralise and post-modern theories and discourses about several variations of “the end”. And disappearing reminds on the famous last sentence of Michel Foucaults “The Order of Things” that as one future possibility man might vanish like a face in the sand on the beach. But as we know today, the epoch of a proclamation of „post-times“ has become history itself. Today, perhaps not the catastrophes – like in the works of Suzy Surek and Erika Knerr – is expactable but the endless stream of events without real innovations. This is a time of syncretism of collages and all the allusions of the hybrid.
Quickly some people spoke like Hegel about the „End of Art“ (or like the german art-historian Hans Belting about the end of art-history). And the critical remakes of the curators of the here presented exhibition seem to be in some aspects similar to those predictions. Since renaissance times, paintings in concordance with the emerging modern sciences opened the reality. And in the epoch of the classical modernity at least the principles of the production of pictures and the processes of perception were represented. Today however in an age of simulacrums (to speak with Jean Baudrillard, a philosopher who has inspired a lot of artists presented here) one could think, pictures (including art-pictures) became more and more medias of concealing. This suggestion is countered by Bernd Imminger attempts towards a materialization of things. There is a fear that optical stimulations could become indistinguishable and inure. And in fact this is a problem especially for performances, installations and video-art (even though they are always accompanied by the fascination of vivid moved Pictures as the Japanese garden of the Reinigungsgesellschaft, the ceremonial reading poem by Janusz Baldyga or the subtile “Language of Roots” by Suzy Sureck). Soltysik put it in the following way: „The contemporary is rather pictural in nature, idea has been marginalized […] pictures in our lives induces a sense of being lost or immunizes us against them by creating and augmenting tried reception of such pictures which consequently makes them neutral (e.g. another murder every evening).” This is also true for other spheres of culture, like religion and art. We may live in an situation not without critique, but – In contrast to the intentions of the artists in this exhibition – with a pseudo-reconciliation of critical attitudes and a glade acceptance of the status quo. That is strictly against the normative motto of Theodor W. Adorno that there is now true live in false conditions (Adorno). Is this the message of the interview film with Grit Ruhland about the “little world improvement” with an self-centred view on an social and natural environment in continuous change?
Art – that is the leading idea of this exhibition – should be more than a contribution to luxury consumption. Because of this Camouflash tries to encourage a critique after the end of the ubiquitary culture of criticism: „After 1968 perhaps faster than ever before, culture became governed by the market-forces: supply and demand.“ It is a long way from the West-Berlin “Comune I” emphasis to Gabriele Horndasch’s black people arrest.
That may show the social illness of materialism and consumerism in western societies, which makes “flash” also a symbol of the short lived desire. But critical reflection in arts, in philosophy and social sciences and in public debates should be an antitoxin against this.


Seit November 2007 arbeitet die Gruppe UNOACTU in Kooperation mit dem PATIO Art Center Lodz an der Konzeption und Realisierung der Ausstellung CAMOUFLASH - DAS VERSCHWINDEN IN DER KUNST. Vom 30. August bis 14. September 2008 werden insgesamt über fünfzig Positionen aktueller Gegenwartskunst im Gebäude "Prager Spitze", direkt gegenüber dem Dresdner Hauptbahnhof, zu sehen sein.

UNOACTU ist eine neu gegründete Vereinigung von Künstlern, Kunstwissenschaftlern und Kunstverständigen anderer wissenschaftlicher Bereiche, die es sich zum Ziel gesetzt hat, Arbeitsfelder neben und zwischen den vorhandenen Präsentationsformen für Kunst zu erforschen.

Ausgangspunkt von CAMOUFLASH war ein gleichnamiges Künstlertreffen in Lodz unter der Leitung des polnischen Künstlers und Kurators Mariusz Soltysik. Die Künstler waren angehalten, direkt zum ausgearbeiteten Konzept zu arbeiten. Thematisiert wurde die Schizophrenie des modernen Menschen zwischen Getarntsein und dem kurzzeitigem Aufblitzen aus der Gesellschaft. Soltysiks Ansatz wird von UNOACTU aufgenommen und konzeptuell wie thematisch um den Untertitel DAS VERSCHWINDEN IN DER KUNST erweitert. Dabei wurde der baudrillardsche Hintergrund des Konzeptes nochmals durchleuchtet und auf seine theoretische Aktualität hin überprüft. Als Ergebnis der neu gewonnen Erkenntnisse, wurden von den Kuratoren gezielt Arbeiten zur Thematik gesucht und in die Ausstellung eingefügt. Auch der Ausstellungsort im Stadtzentrum ist nicht zufällig gewählt: in unmittelbarer Nähe der Shopping-Malls werden die Besucher augenblicklich mit der Ausstellungsthematik konfrontiert, ihre Relevanz wird somit auf eine mögliche Spitze getrieben.

Dem Kuratorenteam ist es gelungen Künstler verschiedener Kontinente, aus Japan, USA, Australien, Indien oder vielen Ländern Europas zu laden, als auch einen intensiven Austausch zwischen deutschen und polnischen Künstlern herzustellen. Anlässlich der Ausstellungseröffnung am 29. August 2008 werden viele von ihnen anwesend sein. Als ein besonderes Ereignis des Abends – eine Stunde vor dem offiziellen Beginn um 20.00 Uhr – darf die Performance der amerikanischen Künstlerin Katherine Behar auf der Prager Straße gelten.

Eine Auswahl der Arbeiten – etwa die Hälfte der Ausstellung – wird im Anschluss auf der MEDIATIONS-Biennale in Poznan zu sehen sein (www.mediations.pl).

Das Projekt wird gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung Sachsen, das Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen und das Kulturamt Dresden, denen unser Dank gilt.

Ohne die Hilfe zahlreicher Freunde, externer Mitarbeiter und Partner wäre die Realisierung der Ausstellung sicher kaum möglich gewesen. Ihnen allen sei für ihre großzügige Unterstützung ebenfalls herzlich gedankt.