Galerie Raum mit Licht


es geht um - curated by_Institut für Betrachtung

Pia Bergerbusch und Philipp Höning, Victor Burgin, Claudia Kugler, Robert Lettner, Olena Newkryta

Opening: 12.09.2019, 18-21:00
Exhibition: 13.09 - 25.09.2019

Ghost lesson on Hauntology and Pop Culture
Lecture with music and discussion
with Didi Neidhart (musician & DJ)
Saturday, 14. September 2019, 16:00
1 2 3 4 5
© Victor Burgin, courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Köln
Victor Burgin »King Road« (1974-84)

it’s about

Circulation is the magic word for smooth running of which art is only one site among many. For anyone who regards themselves as progressive and still wants to be artistically active, circulation is simultaneously commitment and output, prerequisite and result. The preferred place for its (re-)production is where social issues are only an effect of digitalisation and its value only counts statistically. Where “all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned”, we no longer need to rub our eyes.

What good would art be if it were not a concentrated reflection of prevailing conditions? As a distillate it should pour “pure wine” and nevertheless – itself drunk – its real conditions and effects are forgotten. Who – a question to history! – needs perspectives? There are enough spirits in bottles. Eerily, what was once considered “real” and what was actually “factual” are diverging. The much-invoked “post-factual” creates facts. These are effects with “real” triggers and “real” effects that are all too often ignored. No cloud without a farm. No bot without ridicule.

It’s boom time for ghosts: good ghosts as well as evil monsters, to be trusted or to be unmasked as a spook. Their dark intentions ask to be unmasked and banished. Probably any means is right to dispel the horrors even before they appear. Like the pirate condemned to haunt in the Mickey Mouse Ghost of Black Brian adventure. He is not enough of a ghost to walk through walls but material enough to smash a radio set in two with his sabre, only to find out that the device speaks but nobody is inside. The destruction of basis and superstructure becomes a paradoxical ghost hunt. The present-day ghosts are screwed up. Ghost hunters are possessed by their ghosts.

For some time now, this has also put pressure on the images that eke out their shadowy existence particularly in the domain of art. Extreme efforts at self-enlightenment of “art as art” hardly allow them to be “seen” any more, let alone “recognised”. Where too much power is attributed to them, their spellbound magic returns as powerlessness against “everything else”. Image power is one of the screwed up concepts that assigns power where no art and no image but sheer quota pressure circulates. Whereas art and image, on the other hand, are just quantifying factors of a hallucinating mimesis of power or have to serve as mouthpieces for something “other” that has been suppressed, they again deceive about their “real” conditions – material applications, work, organisation, distribution. Anyone who speaks of analysis, criticism or possible ways out of the screwed-up circumstances – for instance through “collectivisation” or voodoo – will be abandoned by all good spirits. More than just a spectre is haunting . . . But the “spiritless” fear of them is indeed monstrous.

Text: Institut für Betrachtung (Wolfgang Brauneis, Hans-Jürgen Hafner, Thorsten Schneider), 2019
Translation: David Westacott 2019