Galerie Volker Diehl is pleased to announce the group show VIEHL DOLKERS curated by APES, featuring the artists: AES+F, AWST&WALTHER, Amélie Grözinger, Philip Grözinger, Markus Krieger, Andrei Loginov, Bjørn Melhus, Michael Samuels, Steve Schepens, Sebastiaan Schlicher, Freek Wambacq and Zhang Huan.
La boîte-en-valise, an art work from or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Selavy (his alter ego) from 1935-1941, is a box containing a portable museum of Duchamp’s oeuvre. One can open and close it, take out art works and show to others. The box is a predecessor of USB sticks, external hard drives, iPhones, blogs and internet sites where people store and display their personal things such as photos, memorabilia, amateur and professional art in Portable Document Format, JPEGs, Powerpoint, etc. and transport it all around the universe. In Duchamp’s case the contents are a series of signed and numbered reproductions and miniatures of his oeuvre. In the case of VIEHL DOLKERS, an exhibition at Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin, the box looks like an overseas (art) transport crate, a giant boîte-en-valise, which contains original art works by twelve different artists. Outside of the box, various reproductions with reference to shown art works are displayed.
The exhibition structure of VIEHL DOLKERS transports the content, just like Duchamp’s suitcase, but is too large to be carried by a single person. The content however is limitedly accessible and can only be viewed through peepholes in the box. The situation reminds of Wittgenstein’s thought experiment, where everybody is talking about a beetle which each interlocutor supposedly has in his box, while no one can look at each other’s hidden content. The beetle in Wittgenstein’s experiment stands for mind, pain and other individually grasped things. In the VIEHL DOLKERS box, contemporary art is the beetle. We all know it, we have all seen it. But we just know fractions of it; we are too close to get the picture. Nevertheless we keep on talking about it. The word art can only mean whatever is in the box, and thus VIEHL DOLKERS provides you insight in this crucial and difficult concept.
APES, August 2010