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Klaus Pobitzer at S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art
Klaus Pobitzer.

GHENT.- S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art presents an exhibit of works of art made by Klaus Pobitzer. The Italian artist Klaus Pobitzer belongs to a generation of artists that integrate new media and commercial strategies into their work. They react against the growth of commercial communication in the street scene. Klaus Pobitzer often works in his projects on the verge of media and the urban public space. On the one hand he makes ‚paper artefacts’ – huge two-dimensional computer drawings that he ‚advertises’ in the city, on the other hand he makes performative installations and video-works.

He combines commercial strategies, trivial actions and ordinary figures. By trivializing his subjects, the identity of his characters erodes. In his work he systematically interferes with existing myths (mainly regarding religious symbolism, typology and beauty-ideals). He refers to the uselessness of the human existence and is at the same time light-hearted and cynical.

In an unconventional way, Klaus Pobitzer deals with commercial mechanisms within the contemporary art world. He poses as a ‚business-artist’ and exposes these strategies. Business-interests and angles, that normally take place behind the scenes and are regarded by the art world with suspicion, get explicitly displayed. For example, in his performances, he’s not afraid to emphasize the contribution by partners. In the installation ‚DO ME’ version I, the contribution by motorcycle-producer Ducati is specifically underlined. This ‚tableau vivant’ portrays a naked male model that polishes a ‘Ducati Sport 1000’ – special edition classically inspired - with complete devotion.

Through this performance, an allusion is made to the sensual connotation that is assigned to motorbikes. But also the action refers to the male erotic poses from the Italian Renaissance. The video work ‚Don Giovanni’ (2003) that is on view in the exhibition refers to the Mozart opera 'Don Giovanni'. In this work, Klaus Pobitzer portrayed a Don Giovanni that looks bored with the action taking place and does not intervene in the scenes. The myth of the egocentric macho has been outdated since the emancipation movement. And also the performance ‚The Miracle of Ghent’, that takes place every Sunday at 11 am in the exhibition spaces of the museum, has demystification as a subject.

Klaus Pobitzer uses the language of mass media to illustrate absurd, confronting and useless social actions. In the street performance ‚Close but no cigar’, 7 gorilla’s make a historical trip in a tourist boat. This performance will take place announced as well as un-announced in the centre of the city of Ghent.

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