As an exhibition-frequenting crowd, more often than not, we are a critical breed: perhaps even a tad harsh. However, we’re rarely given the chance to voice our disgruntled aesthetic opinions out loud no matter how severe—it just wouldn’t be apropos. In-your-face artist duo Ondrej Brody (CZ) and Kristofer Paetau (FN) not only give you the shock-and-awe but also provide a forum for you to voice your grievances—the harsher the better.
On July 25, the duo inaugurated Neukölln gallery Gitte Bohr’s newest exhibition program 1work/ 1room/ 1night/, a series of seven one-evening exhibitions that provide a forum to fly in the face of the art world encouraging artists to, as founders Diego Castro and Eva May put it, “ignore the political and social dimensions of being an artist and instead focus on self-realization.”
Ondrej Brody and Kristofer Paetau, Installation view of Degenerate Art, Karlin Studios, Prague, 2010; Courtesy of the artists.
With Brody and Paetau, you expect guttural. For a duo famous for licking curators' asses in front of exhibitions goers, vomiting at art fairs, or intervening in galleries by way of all sorts of disconcerting things, one expects to be immediately physically uncomfortable. But at Gitte Bohr we got a refined academic version of the duo. Hosting an artist discussion and exhibiting traces from their 2010 exhibition Degenerate Art at Prague’s Karlin Studios, the artists revisited their series of “critique-paintings” and the double self-portrait as Hitler—Hitler with a moustache. Stemming from numerous negative critiques left on their website comment box, Degenerate Art seems cause and effect; it depicts the duo’s aesthetic while providing a window into different threatening responses from outraged viewers. Phrases like “OMGGGGGG. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SHIT. ITS SO HIDEOUS IM GONNA TROW UP” and “YOU ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE ART COMMUNITY. YOU ARE SCUM” are just some of the comments lifted from the site and painted in black old-English letters on pristine white canvases, lending the work the contentious but altogether hilarious tone exhibited in the selection of critique paintings included at Skalitzerstr. 133.
Upcoming 1night exhibitions include: Sofia Bempeza and Vana Kostayola (September 5, 19hr), Raisa Maudit (October 24, 19hr), Fokus Grupa and Johannes Lothar Schöder (November, 19hr) and Nicolas Freitag (December 5, 19hr).
(Image on top: Ondrej Brody and Kristofer Paetau, omgggggg what the hell is that shit. its so hideous im gonna trow up, 2010, oil on canvas, 30x40; Courtesy of the artists.)