The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, December 18, 2014


New Ways of Doing Nothing: Kunsthalle Wien opens new exhibition
Installation view: New Ways of Doing Nothing, Kunsthalle Wien 2014, Photo: Stephan Wyckoff: Gardar Eide Einarsson, In Taxis, On the Phone, In Clubs and Bars, At Football Matches, At Home With Friends, 2013, Courtesy Private Collection, Oslo and Yvon Lambert, Paris.
VIENNA.- Productivity and growth are the philosophical premises of the present day. Working processes are being optimized to increase efficiency, working hours are being deregulated until the distinction between work and leisure time disappears. Artistic work seems to follow other criteria, but in this field too professionalization and self- optimization are on the rise. But what would happen if ‘doing nothing’ or ‘inaction’ were to become a source of inspiration for a refusal to produce.

New Ways of Doing Nothing devotes itself to a form of artistic production that opposes activity, doing and manufacturing and instead gives an affirmative slant to forms of doing nothing, of refraining or asceticism. Here, refraining from something not only leads to a critical moment but also a creative one. New Ways of Doing Nothing – the title derives from Swedish artist Karl Holmqvist – focuses on positions in contemporary art in which ‘doing nothing’ generates its own potential with respect to the requirements (and impositions) of a society that concentrates on activity and productivity: for example in Natalie Czech’s variation on a diary entry by the Russian avant-garde poet Daniil Charms, who in 1937 noted: “Today I Wrote Nothing. Doesn’t Matter.”

In his short story Bartleby, the Scrivener, published in 1853, Herman Melville presents a prototype of refusal or noncompliance. Bartleby replies to all the tasks he is given with a polite but decided “I would prefer not to.” In the course of the novella, which runs to little more than eighty pages, he lapses into a state of total inaction and becomes a figure, both stoic and passive, who represents existence outside societal norms. Bartleby is a key figure of the modern, whose rhetoric of a passive negativity is of essential significance for the self-image of our society, which is based on work and progress.

The Danish artists’ group Superflex have created a video work entitled This Working Life in which they asked a hypnotist to introduce members of the public to the world of work. Something that might seem completely familiar – working with a clock in the background – becomes a strange, almost traumatic activity that can only be understood when the unconscious is activated. A further key work in the exhibition is the film A Man Asleep (Un homme qui dort) by George Perec and Bernard Queysanne. This film version of the story of the same name by Perec, written in 1972, depicts the life of a student in Nouvelle Vague style: one day he decides not to attend an exam and, moreover, not to do anything else from this moment on. Accompanied by a suggestive voiceover, the nameless student wanders through an empty Paris in search of a possibility of escaping all the demands of society. A Man Asleep was written by Perec as a direct answer to Melville’s Bartleby and has lost nothing of its relevance.

Other works in the exhibition take as their theme an artistic work that, even as it reflects on the question of what it means to engage in artistic activities, is already creating work. In Lasse Schmidt Hansen’s series of photos Making Things, for instance, the artist constantly rearranges the furniture in his studio without directly becoming productive. By way of contrast, Edith Dekyndt transposes the signal of a “sleeping” computer in stand-by mode into a closed-circuit installation that creates a suggestive aesthetic of inactivity, but also reminds us that a pure “off” no longer exists.

Artists: Robert Breer, Alejandro Cesarco, Etienne Chambaud, Natalie Czech, Oskar Dawicki, Edith Dekyndt, Mathias Delplanque, Heinrich Dunst, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Marina Faust, Claire Fontaine, Ryan Gander, Lasse Schmidt Hansen, Julia Hohenwarter, Karl Holmqvist, Sofia Hultén, Jiri Kovanda, Rivane Neuenschwander, George Perec/Bernard Queysanne, Superflex, Mario Garcia Torres a. o.

Curators: Vanessa Joan Müller, Cristina Ricupero





Today's News

June 28, 2014

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands reopens Mauritshuis after $40-million revamp

'Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River' opens at the Philbrook Museum of Art

First major museum show to focus on Magritte's most inventive and experimental years opens in Chicago

'Silver Age: Russian Art in Vienna around 1900' exhibition opens at the Belvedere

'Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album' on view at the Royal Academy of Arts in London

'James Turrell: Light Spaces' celebrates the artist's return to the Israel Museum

Elizabeth A. Sackler elected first woman Board Chair of Brooklyn Museum

Sotheby's to sell magnificent 15th century chandelier dating to the 15th century

Michener Art Museum announces first regional solo exhibition of Bucks County native Steve Tobin

World famous La Brea Tar Pits offer new experiences; Observation Pit reopens

Major exhibition of new and recent work by Barbara Kruger opens at Modern Art Oxford

Brazilian artist Rafael Silveira's first solo exhibition in New York opens at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Project-based exhibition of Matthew Ronay's meditative daily drawings opens at Andrea Rosen Gallery

New Ways of Doing Nothing: Kunsthalle Wien opens new exhibition

Fine Chinese furniture and paintings achieve top prices at Bonhams San Francisco

Von Lintel Gallery presents the entirety of its program in one summer group show

Laguna Art Museum presents 'John Altoon: Drawings and Prints'

Juergen Teller's first solo show in Athens opens at the DESTE Foundation

Five international design studios invited to address Dresden Museum of Decorative Arts' collection

'From Pre-history to Post-Everything' opens at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York

Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale races ahead with $38.4 million

Heritage auctions part I of Gardner collection for $19.6 million

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'Stuart Little' helps lost Hungarian painting come home after nine decades

2.- 23,000 year-old limestone statuette of a woman found by archaeologists in France

3.- 42-year-old Russian tourist fined 20,000 euros for defacing Rome's Colosseum

4.- Archaeologists find ancient coins in enormous tomb at Amphipolis in northern Greece

5.- World's richest resource of Japanese stencils for dyeing samurai kimonos rediscovered

6.- Khan Academy to carry extensive content created by Met Museum based on its world-renowned collection

7.- The Weston Cast Court: Victoria & Albert Museum opens refurbished Italian Cast Court

8.- Six final concept designs for Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition unveiled

9.- France returns 250 illegally imported antiquities seized by customs officials to Egypt

10.- Exhibition at the Prado Museum explores Goya's extraordinary series of tapestry cartoons



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site