Sunday, June 17, 2007

Isa Genzken : At some point, you’ ve got to say to yourself, “it’s ok now. You’ve tried everything”¨

Isa Genzken is focusing on a particular set of issues relating to my interests, notions such as anarcho-capitalism, anarchitecture, space loneliness and the social histories of the static object etc. Considering the wide ground to be covered by her work it will be not possible to give you arguments that you could convince you dear reader. For the moment it is better to enjoy some fragments from Isa Genzken’s conversation with Nicolaus Schafhausen who spoke with her about her show in the German Pavilion in Venice, curated by the same and coordinated by Sophie Von Olfers. The artist help us to understand that art is more a reaction to living than a strict discipline of cool gnosis.

In this interview we will see how some of the subjects that have been developed during the presentation of her work at the 52nd Venice Biennial. Here I am using my own pictures. Experts from the catalogue “Oil’, editions Dumont with the exception of the drawing of Josef Beuys and the sculpture of Eva hesse. other texts from the catalogue are signed by Liam Gillick, Juiliane Rebentisch,Vanessa Joan Muller, Willem de Rooij.

Shafhausen: Ιf we could go back again to your earlier work. It is relatively easy to classify it under the post-minimal label. By contrast, your work today is impossible to classify. How did you call it yesterday? The phrase was felicitous : “You decorate minimal.”

Genzken : What I thought was so nice about the text that buchloh finally wrote about me –and I don’t know why, he had a falling-out years ago-is that he said “she was the first one to move away form minimal art”. That is to say, before Carl Andre , Lawrence Weiner, you name it. That made me proud, and I thought to myself “I did that?now that’s great”. After all, Konrad Fischer had positively fed me minimal art. But then I was the first one to think “something’s not right here”. So, again : with my work, you have to and you ought to associate. This aspect of strictness in minimal art bothered me. When there’s a floor panel, you were not prmited to think of something othr than a floor panel only. Of course, this strictness was initially totally good and radical. But at some point, rather soon in fact, it had come to an end for me. You do have to go further , or else is dead…

Shafhausen: What are the suitcases called?

Genzken: I do not know. It ‘s not like there’a got to be a tag on everything. I’m more interested in how it woks in the’s important that it will still be a sculpture in the end. And do you know whre the whole idea comes form ? from Beuys “Schmerzraum” (pain room), which he did in Dusseldorf.


Shafhausen: Now, someone whom I admired very early, besides Beuys, was Eva Hesse, I was still in school. It was really because of these two that I wanted to become an artist as well. When I first met you, twenty years ago, I was initially always reminded of Eva Hesse.have I told you that? You didn,t know her, did you?

Genzken: Oh, that is beautiful. No unfortunately didn’t know her, ….the strike of risk about her work still strikes me as incredible; perhaps also because she was Jewish. At the time when she created her fantastic work ,no other artist had this capacity for abstraction.