WHEN ATTITUDES BECOME SALES de Lege Ruimte, Bruges, Belgium 1989
Buying Time Art in Ruins
Sokkel Stille Helden e.V. [Ute Meta Bauer / Susanne Homann]
When Attitudes Become Sales Review by Luk Lambrecht
Knack (Belgium) Feb 15 1989
Q: In the catalogue to your exhibition ‘Vampire Value’ it says: “Any inquiry into the meaning of Art in Ruins’ work must follow the same process as that of detecting the true motives of Global Corporations, from whose cynical perspective, the ‘particular case’ becomes today nothing more than Local Colour feeding difference into the Global Network, on which however, through the vampire-value of abstraction, it is parasitically dependent”-
A: In the face of the onslaught of ‘progress’ of course, no-one wants to be a ruin and so, with our rucksacks on our backs we are compelled today, in the name of ‘civilised’ values, to identify with the mobility of the Global Network, crossing both time and space (as Modernisation demanded).
Q: And should this prove to be physically impossible?
A: Then perhaps today the postmodern reduction of experience, history and memory to ‘signs’ …
Q: . . . Or is it a recognition of them as being already signs … ?
A: … will allow us to continue our wanderings through our hyper-real shopping malls or our new museums unhindered by, that is, emancipated from, physical (that is, political) barriers.
Q: In your work you connect together various manifestations of ‘hidden labour’ – Apartheid in South Africa and racism in Britain with autonomous abstraction and Kitsch. Tourism (with the great art and museum boom of the 80’s) seeks to abolish labour through signs of emancipation (every high-street becomes an exotic land and life a continuous holiday, where even at work surfing-gear sustains the illusion that ‘life’s a beach’).
A: Postmodernism as style, rather than critical practice, appropriates difference as signs (of exoticism) to create the illusion that power (and labour) have disappeared, and that “we do not have to feel guilty anymore.”. Shopping becomes a time-travelling activity, with the ‘Next’ catalogue a journey through history as clothes are bought for their sign value. High tech architecture and information technology ‘save time’ (hide labour), and even a nuclear power station can become part of the leisure industries – a museum.
From Vampire Value: Art in Ruins interview Art in Ruins
Künstler paare Part 1 Ed. Paolo Bianchi. Kunstforum No 106 Mar/April 1990
Future Issue POSE No 8 Sept 1992
VAMPIRE VALUE Art in Ruins
The Showroom, London 1989
Top: Buying Time 1989 Framed photograph, wall text. Installation view
Middle: On Line 1989 B/W Photograph, rucksacks
Bottom: Sellafield Plage Blanc 1989 B/W Photograph, Plage Blanc swimwear, clothes hangers
Curated by David Thorpe