– Kunstverein Braunschweig
text on LED display board
Room for an Answer
neon, indicator, dispersion paint
A Throw of the Dice
Will Never Abolish Chance
Rubik’s Cube, spray paint, glass
video #10, 2:31 min.
Du fragst zu früh,
wir können dir nicht helfen
Manifest einer Strömung
foil balloons, helium, fans (time-controlled)
The work of the artist group FAMED is best described as a reflection process, which analyses the constitutive orders within the field of the arts. They create spaces for reflection by linking references and citations both in images and in written form – thus stimulating reflection on themselves as well as on other actors within and outside of the art world. By so doing, a constant change of roles and perspectives is provoked and the visitors of the Kunstverein are invited to participate in it.
In the exhibition this confrontation takes place in view of the potential for the new and the unique, whose implicit failure is already claimed in the title Avantgarde & Desaster. Like in past presentations of FAMED, the idea of a mise-en-scène emerges, a narrative, in which the newly produced works complement one another, intertwine, and continue their narrative process. FAMED is committed to creating new connotations between concepts and categories, whether through the lightness of wordplay or by way of (self)ironic commentaries. Language and its transformation into writing play an important part in this practice. Both terms, avant-garde and disaster, are mirrored in different manifestations in the various works. While the title of the show suggests a concrete context and a reciprocal register or interdependence, the works themselves make use of individual aspects of either the one or the other, thus establishing a playful reference to the premise. They shimmer in the in-between.
This work-concept is made explicit, for example, in Room for an Answer, an installation with illuminated neon lettering in the five arched windows of the façade of the remise building. The words “Truth” and “Trash” light-up alternatingly. But this position between the two poles only tells half the truth: the light-change becomes a literal blink. Another work that fills the in-between in an exemplary way is Manifest einer Strömung. We experience a sea of balloons in the form of letters, which constantly shape new patterns through airstreams caused by a ventilation system and the movement of the visitors. We are dealing with a work in text, neither readable nor controllable, because of the constant and random air-circulation, but which, for exactly this reason, carries the potential for the universal. The contradiction between the texts of the manifesto in its relation to the constantly new is a characteristic problem of the avant-garde. In the eye of the spectator the letters form words, potentially a sentence. They create meaning or stay meaningless. It is the artistic strategy of FAMED to apply current patterns of interpretation while at the same time withdrawing from them. The title of another work which labels a single bumper car in the exhibition space, makes reference to a kind of resistance to a concrete definition of their artistic practice: Du fragst zu früh. Wir können dir nicht helfen. (You ask too early. We cannot help you.)
– Franz Hempel
Photos: Stefan Stark (1,3,5,6,7,8), Famed