code flow - events

an exhibition project curated by Oliver Kielmayer, co-curated by Dimitrina Sevova

accompanying program of lectures, screenings and discussions specially curated by Dimitrina Sevova

20 October - 2 December 2007

at Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur

Participating artists in Aggression: Marc Bijl, Stefan Burger, The Centre of Attention, Brice Dellsperger, Tom Ellis, Joep van Liefland, Alex McQuilkin, Laura Parnes, SIS.TM, Sündikat, Alejandro Vidal.

Participants in the screenings and lectures: Marina Gržinić (artist and theorist, Ljubljana), Alexis Hunter (artist, London), Rolando Colla and Elena Pedrazzoli (Peacock Film, Zürich), bankleer (Karin Kasböck und Christoph Leitner, Berlin), Maude Swift (filmmaker and philosopher, London); in addition, films by the following authors will be screened: Marina Gržinić and Aina Šmid, Davide Tosco, Rolando Colla, Olivier Meyrou, bankleer, Maude Swift, Hans Scheirl.

Marc Bijl
Dark Romanticism, 2004.

Courtesy Marc Bijl

Curatorial Abstract

Patricide and Youth Culture

We are all struggling to forget a suppressed memory, a traumatic impulse, an event that is absent from our consciousness. Freud’s suggestion is: The murder of the father! This murder provides the basis for social relations and the structure of society, if not for the functional morals and religion. An original meta-murder that stands behind every murder. There is something criminal in our past. Something dark. According to the author of the thought, this murder is not an imaginary fact, but rather a real fact buried in our collective memory, a faint memory of quite real murders, a great number of murders, acts that have shattered the hierarchy of the tribe and enabled a social contract – a conspiracy of the frustrated sons protesting the law of the father. We are all participants in our own ways in this total murder, which lurks in the dark depths and gives rise to disturbing fantasies, as we struggle against our own melancholia or look for another justification for our bad conscience. Language is formed by the sons in order to regulate their social relations around the new economy of the exchange of their sisters and daughters among tribes – the first commodity, the starting point of private property, a precursor to slavery. Inequality and oppression are themselves language, inherent element of the structure of language, a functional part of our bodies. The narratives of power produce the patriarchal order.

The surrealists defined surrealism as a path to discovering and researching an unknown reality. A reality that plays a major role in the life and behavior of people, even if it may not be known to them. They performed a linguistic revolution in which surrealism is born out of a sizeable operation against language aimed at discovering the secrets of a language whose elements would not contain the signs of repression. They were aggressors against any linguistic norms and rules. One of them, the great melancholic dandy, René Crevel, was found suffocated by gas in 1935. A piece of paper was found pinned to his lapel, with a single word written on it: “Disgusted.”

You have pangs of remorse of having killed your father without having

even acquired a hundred years of memories.

Always the neurasthenia like flowers made from breadcrumb.

You might try backgammon.

The dice roll.

Man or woman?

Dog or cat?

But there will be the dog who will be a cat nonetheless.

René Crevel, Détours (1924)

Medea is the subversive figure with shock value that shakes patriarchy: the foreigner, the mass murderer of her father, brother, husband and twin sons, the irrational, the monster, the wild, the hysteric, the witch, the exile, the horror figure embodying man’s fear of castration. A figure that is by no means only female, but carries also male traits, that has made it into the horror genre, subcultural movements with roots in the underground culture, punk, rock and pop – the black angel of modernism, from the depths of contemporary trash culture, the murderer from horror movies with blood dripping from his knife, the cyber-goddess of transgressive virtual space, the tough woman from comic strips, cartoons and commercial cinema, the character with the subversive potential to explore language and compromise patriarchy. A trans-happiness stolen from the interstices of contemporary society. She is the diva of rock and pop music, carrying the impulse for destroying the social contract.

Combining the energy of art with everyday life, lifting taboos, in a Dionysian euphoria the youth counter-culture operated the destruction of codes and their transposition into dance, in which frustrations are played out in the performance of statutory roles. With its total insubordination and its radical stance against “family values” and “social norms,” it easily managed to scandalize the average taste. A contemporary poetic expression in which Jim Morrison reenacts the murder of the father and the incestual love of the mother. This is vandalism on the basis of the Oedipus complex, aiming to destroy everything hierarchical and controlled, all the way to the symbolic order of language.

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on

He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and...then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door...and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother...I want to...fuck you

From: The End, a song that appears on the album The Doors (1967), by The Doors

(text by Dimitrina Sevova)

Brice Dellsperger, Body Double 21, 2005, production still.

Courtesy Galerie Air de Paris, Paris

Alex McQuilkin, Teenage Daydream: It's Only Rock and Roll, 2002, video still. Courtesy Galerie Adler Frankfurt/ New York

Laura Parnes, Blood and Guts in High School, 2004/06, video still.

Courtesy Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam

SIS.TM, Flickering Subjects V, 2007, digitally manipulated video still.

Courtesy SIS.TM

Joep van Liefland, International Male Culture, 2007

Inkjet poster, 130 x 100 cm.

Courtesy Joep van Liefland

Alejandro Vidal, Conflict, Modern Pathologies

and Tactics of Disappearance, 2005, video still.

Courtesy Alejandro Vidal