Trailer: KUB 2016.04 – Lawrence Weiner
WHEREWITHAL | WAS ES BRAUCHT
12 | 11 | 2016 — 22 | 01 | 2017
»There are so many varieties of Germanic culture here in Bregenz that are not mixable, and I see that as a kind of geyser, like anything that builds up enough pressure, you have to lance it or pop it, that’s a geyser, that’s a pimple, a pimple popper. You know, that’s what it is. That’s what philosophy is. Philosophy is a popped pimple. All of these simultaneous cultures are teutonic (of a sort) and if you read tectonic as teutonic plates, one can understand the allusion to the geyser.«
Lawrence Weiner, Bregenz, September 2016
Born in New York in 1942, Lawrence Weiner is one of the world’s most renowned artists and a cofounder of American Conceptual Art. This art movement, emerging in the 1960s, fundamentally reconsidered the preconditions of a work of art. It disputed the possible preconditions for painting and photography, the stability of the genres, and not least the limits of art itself.
In order to realize this notion of art as a cognitive act, Weiner has been working from the outset with an artistic material which had hitherto been an alien one, that is language. Weiner considers language as a fact, possessing the same weight as stone worked by a sculptor. On the wall it becomes physically experiential, attaining an almost tangible existence.
The consistent use of uppercase lettering is another feature of his defamiliarizing of language. Typography in red, blue, and orange reinforces it as both recognizable symbol as well as one of communication. There is additionally the presence of the building. Weiner’s texts on the walls of Kunsthaus Bregenz become a commentary on the architecture, space, and the sensory experience it embodies. Yet his work remains only apparently site-specific. It is self referential, operating with elliptical shifts in meaning and astute plays on social and political issues as well as the position of art itself.
Lawrence Weiner is particularly important to Kunsthaus Bregenz, not only because of his artistic stature, but above all for his spatial thinking. The model for the organization of his text works across the building’s four floors is, according to Weiner, a kind of geyser. Geysers provide valves for excessive pressure, searing subterranean matter gushing from small vents. Weiner uses the image to make the function of art explicit. Art is a spontaneous escape from apparently hermetic tectonic crusts. It finds a way releasing itself from blocked frictional surfaces. He admits to this as being »idealistic«, but it nevertheless remains one of art’s fundamental tasks.
Trailer and Educational Film