Alien Landscape, 2020
B&W fiber-based silver gelatin print, 60x50cm
Exhibition held at Galerientage 2022, Graz
Curated by Robert Gruber in cooperation with
Martina Egger, Kathrin Hanga & Manfred Stocker
Lea Abendstein (AUT)
André Baschlakow (DE)
Linda Ebert (NOR)
Jurgis Gečys (LTU)
Jeremy Glogan (UK)
Markus Krottendorfer (AUT)
Alastair Levy (UK)
Sabine Maier (AUT)
Sarah Sharafi (DE)
Erwin Polanc (AUT)
Burghart Schmidt (1942-2022)
Céline Struger (AUT)
& works from the collection and the collective
R.G. / Robert Gruber, for gottrekorder e.v., Vienna, 06.04.2022
/ Part 1: The emptiness that becomes ritual is real.
After post-modernity comes, is now – real postmodernism!
The replacement of rational decisions by aesthetic ones – without a link. The reversal, the turning back to
faith, the stupidity of self-empowerment as and in therapeutic impotence, inexperiencabilty of significate,
realisations of multiple virtualities – into an easy standardising “pluralism for the future”.
“What is done to our individual life experience by means of high-tech, namely to let it dissolve its own
experience in its experience, is also applied post-modernly to the social past, which thanks to high-tech
becomes so recitable that it can be received immediately, as if one had travelled to yesterday, so that one is
no longer from yesterday, but from after yesterday.”
Of this it must be said: what is presented as drafted is here already practically closed in the draft – never
The necessarily selective traversal of the always instantly different river as a polylogy of artistic-aesthetic
practices stabilises into the constant outflow of productions that can/are allowed to be thematised and
commented on as artistic decisions – to become nonchalant but no longer negotiated (in the sense of
processual vividness or, even more, actual – with respect to their potentialities – presence).
Above all, more and more technical (applied) new additions, whether as materials for informing and
information or as tools for doing this (the means justify the means, the end is mediocrity), have been and
are being integrated, concisely presented.
There is necessarily an overlapping of sense data, mixing and cancelling, a “cross-over esotericism” of popformalist
content evacuation. Even an opposition of form-statement-institutions within a few decades or
even years. Levellingly global in different places and for different groups.
In relation to the Western industrialised and everyday digitalised art world, however, the zenith is already
well passed and tendencies are recognisable which, while not a retrogressive movement, yet correspond to
the actually usable potential of supposedly innovative technologies; weighed against the statements
actually obtained and produced in this way.
Was that the choice then?
Virtual therapy (self-empowerment) and infantilism instead of rationalization and technocracy? The living
zoon politikon is desired dwindlingly small, should desire to give way to “anything goes”, adoring itself as an
art figure, making aesthetic/more theological decisions or not making them, individualized collectively and
throwing around and away from itself. Rather art figure without conscience (historical experienceability)
than real (acting) person. Seen sociologically, a pseudo-political “colour-blindness” independent of class?
Who is going to shoot whom virtually? Just so.
The impatience of the bourgeoisie, jiggling at the world clasps, has passed loss at the short-lived longeurs of
the last decades of the last millennium; and how could it revolt otherwise than as a history-less nonrebellion
of the real postmodernist generations?
To whom can all the utopias, efforts, constant toil (formerly the civilizing project) be left now? Is the old
time still young?
(Post-modernness faked for real.)
Better one cannot …
Because this always has, what appears aesthetically charming, the consequence of justifying itself, if at all
possible, also ethically.*
Burghart Schmidt, Zeitökonomie des Individualismus (Wien, Edition Splitter, 1996), 86.
Cf. Umberto Eco, Kunst und Schönheit im Mittelalter (München, Carl Hanser, 1991).
Translated by Jonathan Uhlaner