"Okonomien der Zeit". (Reviews)

By Montmann, Nina | Artforum International, September 2002 | Go to article overview

"Okonomien der Zeit". (Reviews)


Montmann, Nina, Artforum International


MUSEUM LUDWIG

Given that theorists like Michel Foucault, Fredric Jameson, Henri Lefebvre, and their followers have explained societal phenomena convincingly in spatial terms, an exhibition titled "Okonomien der Zeit" (Economies of time) tends to stand out. Curators Astrid Wege and Hans-Christian Dany have articulated the theme by contesting the so-called New Economy, in which time is characterized by efficiency: As much work as possible must be completed in as short a time as possible; flexibility and mobility become the watchwords for success. Whoever thinks of time differently, as a social value for instance, or worse yet, anyone who wastes it, is leading a life that is potentially subversive. As one might expect given such a premise, this exhibition focused on artists incompatible with the market; it also included self-organized initiatives and independent publishing ventures.

Hamburg artists Jelka Plate and Malte Wilms invited the SSM (Socialistic Self-Help of Mulheim) to present their organization. In a critique of the architecture firm OMA's proposed redesign of the Museum Ludwig's foyer, which resembles a shopping mall, Plate, Wilms, and the SSM sited an economic counterproposal there: a branch of the SSM's secondhand shop, with videos of heated discussions in the alternative group's communal kitchen and a sofa corner where the public was invited to converse with members of the group. Edson Barrus's yard-long rosary, woven from half-inch-wide strips of cigarette packs and attached to a ball made of the rolled-together butts of smoked joints, seems to be about the discovery of slowness. The work unites the fragile visualization of a period in a life with documentation of the self-determined acceleration of bodily decay and also juxtaposes legal (tobacco) and illegal (marijuana) economies. …

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