24 September 2012

STOSCHEK'S FLAMING CREATURES

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From the top: video still Mike Kelley, 2x installation views Bruce Nauman, photo montage by Ed Ruscha, video still and site-specific video installation by Ryan Trecartin, video K-CoreaINC.K by Ryan Trecartin, installation by Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin, hallway with works and video still by Paul McCarthy, all images by artfridge, courtesy Julia Stoschek Collection

In the backyard of an inconspicuous office building lies the realm of media-art-collector Julia Stoschek: Restored by the architects Kühn Malvezzi, a shut-down factory serves as an accommodation for her private space and her art collection. Stoschek's sixth exhibition, titled 'Flaming Creatures' after Jack Smith's scandal film from 1963, displays the works of 14 artists, whose coherence was developed around the concept of 'camp'. 'Camp', as Susan Sontag has put it, is a “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration” - it is flashy and alienating. A burning circus, in every way...

One cannot help but recognise the exhibition's suggested sinful character, which is demonstrated by Ed Ruscha's photomontage 'Sin Without', right at the entrance door. Passing a dark hallway with Paul McCarthy's early self-experimental videos, such as 'Painting Face Down - White Line'', one continues to a room installation that displays three body-focused videos by Bruce Nauman. After eluding his over-dimensional face in the piece 'Pulling Mouth' and possibly dancing to Tony Oursler's video for Sonic Youth's 'Tunik (Song for Karen)', one enters the piercing site-specific video installation 'Trill-ogy Comp' (2009) by Ryan Trecartin: Three hyperreal videos, non-narratively connected, to be located somewhere between a gay'ish image-promoting company film and a ham reality show. Absolutely hilarious.

The second floor of Stoschek's private museum abandons the former amusement and instead turns towards a rather masochistic parcours: With his floor-filling labyrinth 'Kumulierte Summenmutation' John Bock created a site-specific trauma-environment that guides through a walk of phobias, forcing to climb, crouch, being dizzy. White wooden head-cabins show several movies from the artist's oeuvre, directly guiding to the environments center-piece - the original, bloodied inventory of his 'Lütte mit Rucola' film set. Bock's work is disturbing, in fact, it is almost an assault that asks for an overcoming of one's own borders. But the harshness is permanently broken by his non-sense objects, that often seem to pretend being a giant vagina, a murder weapon or a monster.
Around the corner, in a dark room, Mike Kelley's movie 'Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction. Eapr #36 (Vice Anglais)' is screened, which belongs to the last works he did before he took his life in the beginning of this year. Kelley eccentrically staged his idea of the poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rosetti, who captures and beats the bare butt of a princess until the blood splashes into his face.

'Flaming Creatures' assembles many important key-positions of a genre that has been missing out way too much recently and there is basically not enough time to see all the video works in full length during one visit. But over-stimulation, as Ryan Trecartin's trilogy eventually demonstrates par excellence, seems to be a part of this convincing and - let's be honest - fantastic exhibition's program. 
From 8th September 2012 to spring 2013 (also during Art Cologne)
with works by John Bock, Lizzie Fitch, Birgit Hein, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Paper Rad, Peaches, Aura Rosenberg, Ed Ruscha, Jack Smith, Gwenn Thomas and Ryan Trecartin

JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION
Schanzenstrasse 54

40549 Düsseldorf
Opening Hours: ONLY SATURDAYS, 11-18h, Free Entry
(groups can visit during the week, by appointment)

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From the top: photos by Aura Rosenberg, note, wood / video installation, video still inside one wood box, film set installation, installation with ladder, circles video installation, video of circle installation and pink object all by John Bock, bra installation, 16 mm films  and photo collage by Jack Smith, outside view Julia Stoschek Collection, all images by artfridge, courtesy Julia Stoschek Collection
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