Property Rites: Andre Rottmann on Andreas Siekmann

By Rottmann, Andre | Artforum International, February 2008 | Go to article overview

Property Rites: Andre Rottmann on Andreas Siekmann


Rottmann, Andre, Artforum International


WITH SOME SIX MONTHS' critical distance from last summer's hyberbolic "Grand Tour," it is now apparent that one of its most notable effects, in terms of the making of individual reputations, has been the increasing international attention enjoyed by the work of Andreas Siekmann. Indeed, the Berlin-based artist was, other than Martha Rosler, the only person represented both at Documenta 12 in Kassel and at Skulptur Projekte Munster 07. No doubt this visibility stems in part from the ways in which Siekmann's politically engaged work, as it was installed in public spaces in Kassel and Munster, clearly managed to elude both the former exhibition's curatorial framework of idiosyncratic tastes and pseudomorphologies and the latter's marketing-minded emphasis on locale (imbued with a general sense of harmless fun). The various reactions--both within and beyond the confines of the contemporary art world--provoked by Siekmann's evolving artistic practice seem to say much about the (im)possibilities and historically charged methodologies of "political art" today. Whereas critical projects since the 1960s once established site-specificity as the privileged form of a reflexive engagement with spatial, institutional, and discursive contexts, Siekmann's drawings and installations challenge traditional notions about the democratic nature of public space. While the latter play a foundational role in institutions such as Documenta and Skulptur Projekte Munster and in the ideology of the aesthetic at large, Siekmann points out neoliberalism's functionalist encroachment on the sites of artistic practice and critique--pleading the case for the continuing, yet decidedly recoded, relevance of an interventionist approach.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For Documenta, Siekmann created Die Exklusive. Zur Politik des ausgeschlossenen Vierten (The Exclusive. On the Politics of the Excluded Fourth), 2002-2007, a carousel that slowly revolved around the eighteenth-century statue of the Hessian landgrave Friedrich II that stands in front of the Museum Fridericianum. Founded in 1779 under the feudal patronage of Friedrich, the Fridericianum was the first public museum in continental Europe; Friedrichsplatz has been a prominent site in the history of Documenta's public-art commissions ever since Walter De Maria's 1977 Vertical Earth Kilometer. Taking up this plaza as historical backdrop and institutional context, then, Siekmann's work put forward a complex allegory of globalization based on the idea of an "exclusive" power that designates certain zones as exempt from international law, so that fundamental human rights no longer apply--the power constitutes, in effect, a fourth governmental category, in addition to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. More specifically, employing a visual rhetoric that combines the documentary with the fictional, The Exclusive maps the impact and effects of governmental techniques of biopolitical and economic exclusion pivotal both to permanent states of emergency and to the operations of global capital.

Attached to the red-lacquered metal frame of the carousel are ten nearly life-size human figures (some with moving parts) and forty-three hexagonal wooden panels mounted with color prints of highly detailed figurative drawings. In this array of pictures and silhouettes, painstakingly produced by the artist with the primitive drawing tools provided in the Microsoft Word computer program, the ghostly contours of Virgil and Dante can be seen wandering through the divine comedy of today's global capitalism: Among the "circles" depicted are extraterritorial refugee camps, anti-G8 demonstrations, and Southeast Asian sweatshops, populated by NGO activists and International Monetary Fund and World Bank functionaries. (On the last note, it should not go unmentioned here that during German president and former IMF director Horst Kohler's official visit to Documenta, his route was diverted so that he would not pass by Siekmann's carousel. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Property Rites: Andre Rottmann on Andreas Siekmann
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.