At Motto Berlin
28.04.2012 – 19.05.2012
Opening reception, Friday 27 April, from 7pm
‘It is known that initially many wanted at the very least to build cities, an environment suitable to the unlimited deployment of new passions. But of course this was not easy and so we found ourselves forced to do much more.’
– Guy Debord ‘On Wild Architecture’
Vitrines, like strange capsules, lead from the street to the larger glass front of the bookstore where ‘concierge’, a fragile contraption of repurposed wire and cardboard, sheds its insufficient light. The first vitrine, still on Skalitzer Strasse, contains three differently large Es – 60, 75, and 90 cm high, to be precise-. They are cut out of a strange, white, sleek cardboard and float upwards like bubbles inside an aquarium. They seem to signify nothing; communicating not so much form or thought, as joy.
Inside the courtyard Ingrid Bergman – sans husband, but filmed by her real life one – lounges, thinking interesting thoughts. Elsewhere, varied sorts of seemingly always welcome debris, are thrown together in perfect disorder. A clutch of scrapbooks and fanzines complete the landscape.
Like visiting Asger Jorn’s walled garden at Albisola, the courtyard begins to feel like a microclimate; an experimental growing plot for new varieties of thought.
The Es make more sense now. The library – of words, of sounds, of images – and its reverse: the anti-library, of books unread and knowledge un-learned, are what is grown and preserved here. Who speaks? Who listens? Who does not speak? What will the books of the future be? How can we make them different? Anti-books, anti-knowledge, un-learning, extreme slowness and extreme speed, all seem relevant here.
Around 1805 Heinrich von Kleist wrote ‘instead of speaking with the pretentious purpose of enlightening others I want you to speak with the reasonable purpose of enlightening yourself’, advocating not words or concepts but a ‘certain state of mind’ as the most correct understanding of Property and State.
More recently, many have remarked on how to extract something from circulation – an object, idea, book – holding it still to examine it, is to do it a great injustice. Objects, ideas, books have a life, they will not stand still under someone else’s microscope. Sometime before this, Hannah Arendt drew attention to the ‘intervals’ within our daily continuity determined by ‘things that are no longer and things that are not yet’. This brief moment of potentiality for Arendt was thought itself.
The conscious fostering of this state of potentiality, the unwillingness to provide a microscope under which objects and thoughts may be kept still, the aspiration towards a language free from knowing, may be what Jean-Michel is after.
Finally we must note that the artist favours improvisation. Last minute changes are likely to happen.
On this occasion, acidator, acidator 2, acidator 3, acidator 4 and acidator 5, an edition of unique books and posters made in collaboration with Maximage Société Suisse, will be presented.
Skalitzer str. 68
Ph: +49 (0)30 75442119
Fax: +49 (0)30 75442120