Okkupation I Among the Pushing and Shoving

Among the Pushing and Shoving

By Christian Hasucha




1) Since there has been an art trade, it has been common to observe artistic articulation as being isolated and detached from its surroundings. Often it is aesthetically estimated through comparative remembering (i.e. already existent in an art context) or through direct confrontation. Through the means of public intervention another more open way of sensing is required. The perceived here-and-now is not isolated but the opposite: It is the nourishing source for attributive or implanted elements. This sort of public art conceives of itself as a dialogue. But through offering only an isolated way of seeing these arrangements can not be perceived. The results of the intervening methods should be seen and experienced immediately and directly as part of a constellation with surrounding determinants. As interventions they are event-bound and cannot be transferred arbitrarily. Yet there are arrangements which show a similar effect in comparable situations. These 'jokers' - or rather attributive constellation principles - are happily repeated among artists because they can be set up with rational intentions and promise a certain resonance. But it ends up the same: Seen in isolation, many implants and interventions are just as banal as any other occurrence of the everyday. If the meeting between the implanted element and its surrounding is perceived, the overall structural context of the surrounding can be seen and in this way the all-embracing, model-like idea can be understood. This idea is the actual product of this working method. On the contrary, and as it becomes more common, if the ability to perceive is reduced by the narrow forms of artistic production then even the substance of an intervening strategy is not understandable.


2) Because the current institutional exhibition management often selfishly combine art with their own interests and present the art in a market and theory orientated way, many interventionists draw back. Instead they choose appropriate manifestations for their art, which are fluctuant formings and intervention presets, especially when including the rites and procedures of the everyday. In these situations the art pieces interfere with given structures, stress the latent, put the given into perspective and shimmer among the pushing and shoving of the habitual, somewhere between being distinctive and belonging.


3) If the corresponding alien element appears anonymously and without any art-label it will cause irritation and hostility but also curiosity and an effort toward adjustment. The decision about how to comprehend such phenomena is, in first place, up to the observer, who is confronted with it in his everyday life. Hereby, his perceptions are hardly spoilt by art theory. They are not submerged in explanations, commercial classifications or ratings. The subjective approach, individual estimation, and comparison with one's own experience patterns must take place under largely unprotected circumstances. Here, the distinctiveness of the phenomena is noticed by the suddenly confronted person in a considerably more precise way than if the option of immediate categorisation was offered to him. A direct comprehension of an unfamiliar situation is of necessity; eventual dangers or advantageous situations must be reacted to accordingly. But there is only as much 'testing' as necessary for comprehending the given situation. One's own subjective experiences are the measure by which changing surroundings are estimated. The alien element whose classification remains unclear, is sceptically observed for longer, and the possibility opens up of recognising one's own resonances and value notions. At this point art can take over in order to test different means of communication, outside of traditional art terms. Neither an aura-creating exhibition atmosphere nor a canonised value system would channel this into what is formed in the everyday. But the manifestations must also be able to assert themselves against the impositions of advertising, against the regulations with which the authorities attempt to control everyday structures, and against the suspicion about offering the public entertainment. It would be nice if the question would arise: Am I standing in front of an odd chain of circumstances, or in front of something subtly staged?


4) The more the intervention develops from an everyday situation, and eventually opposes it, the more intense the irritating moment; this applies more to residents and regular passers-by than to the one-time visitor. Someone who organises walks with selected experience sites can therefore have only onlookers, to whom the happening must be explained accordingly.





Using the expression IMPLANTS I mean a foreign element that meaningfully influences a given structure or an environment by its placement, setting and effect. Affinities between the implant and its environment are obvious.


ATTRIBUTIVE SCULPTURES are elements that are added, removed or changed within a situation chosen for being model-like. The attribute refers to the functional connection of given objects and phenomena. It might react in an unpredicted way towards the other context. The model characteristic of the interchange is proven by a change of situation.


IMPLANTS as well as ATTRIBUTIVE SCULPTURES are results of PUBLIC INTERVENTIONS that might appear immediately as staged EVENTS. These events interfere with the mechanisms of the everyday and cause constructive alienation of the passers-by and residents through the event's manner of staging, developing, assimilating or pretending to disappear.


INTERVENTION PRESETS offer options for reaction in connection with accordingly prepared constellations or tools. They make the activation and communication of aesthetic experience as well as a production of and dealings with IMPLANTS and ATTRIBUTIVE SCULPTURES possible.



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