Xenien I: Engels mit Sphinx Gesichten
In this tale we find three different places (A), (B), (C) and one alter ego/avatar (D). It takes place at MMS2, the entire Hansa Quarter (in the streets, on the facades of houses or inside private houses), the Museum of Natural History in front of the stuffed panda Bao Bao and in the Gemäldegalerie in Potsdam in front of painting “The incredulity of St Thomas” by Michelangelo de Caravaggio.
(A) The studio
(B) The project space
(C) The landscape
(D) The spectator
These narratives are closely linked and form symbolic exhibition “Engel mi Sphinx Gesichten” (Sphinx-faced Angels).
Three main actors represent different modes of existence of (D). They are meant to be understood as symbols.
1. The panda is a degenerated creature (we want to keep the good times even though they are gone) – have a look on Robert Lifton’s book about the protean self to learn more or read “The revolt of the masses” by Ortega y Gasset.
2. Marcel Duchamp. He is a 20th century artist and professional chess player.
3. Thomas the Apostle. He does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus as one reads in the bible’s passage. He only believes in what he sees. He is a positivist (science is a religion which changes the paradigms quickly). On the other hand the belief is more static and secure. But as we see in Thomas the most difficult to obtain.
This object based exhibition and tale is about the interconnection between belief (faith) and freedom. The readymade, the choice of the frame made by the artist, and since recently also the spectator, are ideas (in a platonic structural sense) one can reflect upon. The pivotal relation of belief (exemplarily in art) of the spectator (as he is being asked from the inside of one of private apartments –“Do you believe in art?”) and belief of the artist (in art) reveals itself in the middle (in the gallery), which is not a barricade dividing the two “poles of art creation” but simply a fluous space through which the artist moves back and forth as his status of being artist and spectator changes perpetually.
Here Martychowiec declares – a readyframed – analogically to Duchamp, whose practice was constructed around his painterly background, for Michal Martychowiec such background being photography, and so a medium where no physical object is being produced but rather a frame established. A ready framed is utilising an already existing frame (for example of another artist’s work or practice), the frame which instead of being established is given a certain symbolic value.
It is in this sense the works presented in the exhibition are formulating narratives which could be all gathered under the banner of the neon “All is history”. A ready-framed is history which becomes a ready-made.