ARE YOU CRAZY? is the title of a series of artist talks which raise
the issue of "irrationality" and open this important element
in the works of young artists for discussion. Everyday situations are
normally judged according to logical criteria. In contrast, artistic
actions create the possibility of pushing the limits of the given
social standards or even going beyond the established narrow confines
of rational behaviour; for an artistic act does not require the
legitimisation of a predetermined goal.
Is it the main purpose and intent of the
artist to question the accustomed strategies of daily routine by
incorporating breaks and disruptions into ordinary logical
What role does the artist play within the
framework of "rational" social constructs, when his or her
actions cannot be measured by such criteria?
Is it the artist's purpose to play the fool - much like court jesters
or children - by inverting and thus reflecting habitual patterns of
These are just a few of the questions that
will be discussed with the invited artists in conjunction with their
individual artistic positions.
The performance artist Elena Kovylina often
puts herself in dangerous situations in relation to the audience.
Viewers are often faced with the challenge of having to choose how to
intervene in potentially life-threatening situations, which underscore
the question of who is really in control. In one performance the
artist rowed far out into waters of the Black Sea in a small wooden
boat. Members of the audience eventually came to the decision to
rescue her in a motor boat and she was safely brought back to shore.
In "Make it yourself" the audience was given the option of
kicking away the chair on which she was
standing with a noose around her neck. In
"Schießstand" the audience was asked to shoot at the
artist as a living target; Elena Kovylina was hit by a bullet. A work
with a particularly Russian flair was "Walzer" in which she
danced with different men chosen from the audience. The dance was
interrupted by short breaks, in which she drank a shot of Vodka and
pinned a medal onto her jacket. The performance ended in the hospital,
where she was admitted for alcohol poisoning.
Elena Kovylina (born 1971 in Moscow) lives and works in Berlin and
Stuttgart. She studied at the Academy of Arts in Moscow, the Kunst und
Medien Schule in
Zurich and the HdK Berlin with Rebbeka Horn.
She has performed in the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Wien),
Postfuhramt (Berlin) and Artforum Berlin
(Galerie Paula Böttcher), among other locations. She currently has a
fellowship at Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart).
ARE YOU CRAZY? will take place on various
Thursdays in June and July at 7 p.m.
The dates of the following talks are to be
Ross Birrell - Envoy
Exhibition dates: 20.5.2003- 28.6.2003
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 12.00pm-6.00pm