Walter Benjamin's Angel of History "is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress."
Walter Benjamin, Illuminations
He would lie in wait for monks grown weary with working in the oppressive heat, seizing a moment of weakness to force an entrance into their hearts. And once installed there, what havoc he wrought! For suddenly it would seem to the poor victim that the day was intolerably long and life desolatingly empty. He would go to the door of his cell and look up at the sun and ask himself if a new Joshua had arrested it midway up the heavens. Then he would go back into the shade and wonder what good he was doing in that cell or if there was any object in existence. Then he would look at the sun again and find it indubitably stationary, and the hour of the communal repast of the evening as remote as ever. And he would go back to his meditations, to sink, sink through disgust and lassitude into the black depths of despair and hopeless unbelief. When that happened the demon smiled and took his departure, conscious that he had done a good morning’s work.
Gunter Grass, The Rat, Translated by Ralph Manheim
Where man had been, in every place he left, garbage remained. Even in his pursuit of the ultimate truth and quest for his God, he produced garbage. By his garbage, which lay stratum upon stratum, he could always - one only had to dig - be known. For more long-lived than man is his refuse. Garbage alone lives after him.
Vast plains infested with garbage, beaches strewn with garbage, valleys clogged with garbage. Synthetic flakes on the move. Tubes that have forgotten their ketchup and never rot. Shoes of neither leather nore straw walk self-propelled with the sand and collect in pits full of garbage, where already yachtsman's gloves and droll inflatable animals are waiting. All these things speak of you, now and forever. You and your works wrapped in clear plastic, sealed in vacuum bags, moulded in synthetic resin, you in chips and clips: the human race that was.
Comedy and Tragedy
text by Eleanor Clare, 2014, published in NEVERODDOREVEN, Deuxpiece and Buro fur Problem, Basel
I was frantic, feeling a little sick and dizzy, but determined to carry on.
What had to be done, had to be done. It was a desperate attempt.
It was a hollow action.
It was just doing for the sake of doing.
It was doing to find some momentary release from the feeling of total inertia, of being stuck.
Now I must talk of hollow laughter.
Some say it is the laughter of a psychopath: cold, hard, unfeeling.
I say it is simply laughter at the end of the tether.
They say, if you don't laugh you'll cry.
I have been laughing this way.
I cry until I laugh, and laugh until I cry.
There is not much in between, but for an empty and desolate expanse stretching out ahead.
When I am laughing, I do not know if the laughter itself feels unreal, or if I myself am unreal.
It seems like I have been caught by something I cannot quite grasp.
I am in its grip: the grip of humour.
Watching myself on a screen, I make myself laugh, for I am hysterical.
Here I am comedy.
I laugh a senseless, reasonless laughter that has no meaning, other than to shake and move in a way that is ridiculous.
It is laughter in the extreme, because it cannot end until it reaches the opposite pole: tragedy.
"Emotions exist beyond time, as the pulse of pure physical connection to the world and its music.
Like music, they are a form of movement _ the origin of the word emotion lies in the Latin, emovere, to move out, remove, agitiate."
Olsson anbefaler 18. - 24. mai, morgenbladet.no
Tommy Olsson gir deg hver uke sine kunstanbefalinger.
Publisert: 16. mai 2012 - 9:30
Shelves, Chairs and Boilersuits, Tollbodallmeninngen 39, Bergen
Det er noe spesiellt pirrende med visningsteder som bare har en adresse a vise til, og denne aner jeg fint lite om, bortsett fra at den ikke burde være vanskelig a finne. Og fordi pressemeldingen sier 'Art is design that has become dysfunctional because the society that provided the basis for it suffered a historical collapse' og ikke sa veldig mye mer. Men mer trengs ikke for a fa meg interessert, egentlig. Historisk kollaps, huh? Det beskriver jo tingenes tilstand til enhver tid, spor du meg.
the group exhibition Rumiko Hagiwara – Dillan Marsh – Elizabeth Rowe brought together three artists whose work encapsulated notions of distraction, futility and perseverance. Working with the aesthetics of mass media, Elizabeth Rowe’s practice merged images from printed material to regain an element of control over an overwhelming accumulation of information. In preparation for exhibition, Rowe produced F—k reason (2009) which singularly featured on the front image of the exhibition flyer. In line with ideas of ineffectuality, four new works were commissioned and intended for inclusion in The Coventry Telegraph. When the commissions were denied printing due to the ambiguous non-commercial content, an enlightening conversation between Rowe and the editor discussing ideas about the ephemeral in art, formed an integral part of the show. Displayed within the window frontage, the protagonist in Rumiko Hagiwara’s film Escalator (2003) performs a subtle passive aggressive act by walking the opposite way, on a downward flowing escalator. By drawing attention to the use of the public space, Hagiwara suggests that the viewer rediscover trivial elements around them. This was shown in conjunction with Dillan Marsh’s work Multiple Failures (2008), which documents futile attempts to inflate a self-constructed air-balloon. Marsh strives to realise a fantasy of escape, but the end result is a catalogue of short-lived unsuccessful endeavours.