22 Feb - 15 Apr 2007

Shandyismus. Autorschaft als Genre, Secession 2007, Foto Christian Wachter
curated by Helmut Draxler
February 22 – April 15, 2007

The exhibition Shandyismus. Autorschaft als Genre refers to Laurence Sterne’s novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman from the 18th century. It will focus on Shandyism as a phenomenon or position, reflecting the diversity of points of contact with the media. A number of existing art works will be shown that express the methodological idiom of Shandyism. At the same time, artists have been invited to develop a “Shandyesque intervention” for the exhibition.

„Shall we for ever make new books, as apothecaries make new mixtures, by pouring only out of one vessel into another?” Laurence Sterne, 1760

In Laurence Sterne's 18th century novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, there are black and marbled pages, missing chapters, free space for the reader to include their own versions of events, any number of inserted diagrams that either serve to clarify the performative aspect of the narrative or to illustrate the novel's extremely complex narrative structure. Individual letters are emphasised typographically so that they can no longer be articulated. The narrative thread develops from a great many deviations, and ends before the novel began. The reader is frequently addressed, either as a man or as a woman. Tristram Shandy, the dramatised narrator, is presented less as the protagonist in the story than as the author of the novel that one is reading.

The book as a medium has hardly ever been addressed with more self-reflective humour and irony, culminating in the question why so many books are written. In a sense, just this one could have been sufficient. At the same time, this approach goes beyond a domestic tradition of Modernism beyond all traditions of genre and lines of intellectual approach. Elements of Shandyism can be found in all artistic disciplines, but there are also traces of it in philosophy and politics. Its influence on art in particular has hardly been studied to date.

The exhibition Shandyismus, Autorschaft als Genre attempts to focus on Shandyism as a phenomenon/position, taking into account the historical dimensions and a new contemporary strategy to be rediscovered here. Aspects of a thematic exhibition will thus be related to a contemporary group show. Here, a number of works will be shown in which the methodological idiom of Shandyism is expressed primarily as a construction of authorship and readership. These exhibits will be accompanied by several thematic blocks focusing on narration and diagrams of a more historical nature to be presented in glass show cases, addressing the media and the interface with art, literature, film, comics, philosophy and record covers. At the same time, a number of artists will be invited to “intervene Shandyesquely”, i.e. to conduct themselves in a particular manner towards the exhibition. Even the design of the exhibition is based on Shandyesque elements, referring to earlier exhibitions in the Secession, such as Joseph Kosuth’s 1989 Wittgenstein exhibition and more recent exhibitions, e.g., Michael Krebber, Christopher Williams and Constanze Ruhm’s Fate of Alien Modes.

Artists who created a piece specially for the exhibition:
Bernadette Corporation, artists collective, founded in 1994, work mainly in New York
Gareth James, born in 1970, lives and works in New York
Sergej Jensen, born in 1973, lives and works in Berlin
David Jourdan, born in 1974, lives and works in Vienna
Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied, born in 1971, live and work in Stuttgart
Josef Strau, born in 1957, lives and works in Berlin

Individual loans:
Louise Lawler, Woman with Picasso (1912), 1986
Chuck Jones, Duck Amuck, 1953
Marcel Duchamp, La Boite en Valise, 1938
Marcel Broodthaers, Le Drapeau Noir. Tirage illimité, 1968
Max Bill, Plakat für Duchamp-Ausstellung, 1960
Robert Frank, Washington D.C., 1957
Martin Kippenberger, Hängt die Verräter an die Wand, 1983
Michael Krebber, o.T., 1989
Franz West, Wittgensteins Kritzel, 1985
Jack Goldstein, o.T., 1986
Georg Baselitz, o.T., 2002
Jutta Koether, A Subject is the Local Occurance of a Process of Truth, 2001
Monika Baer, o.T., 1998
Michael Schuster, Fünf Minuten mit der Tour d’Autriche, 1979
Christian Philipp Müller, poster: Vergessene Zukunft, 1993
Plakat zu Robert Bresson, Pickpocket, 1959

Thematic sections (show cases and texts):
Franz Reitinger: The Intellectualization of the Picture in Light of Literature
Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt: Humour in the Form of Diagram
André Rottmann: Marcel Duchamp's Shandyism
Drehli Robnik: Hitchcock, Shandyist
Michael Dreyer: Conceptual LP Cover Design (Introspection)
Clemens Krümmel: Analogies between Thought and Action
Tanja Widmann: untitled (face to the ground, everyone at the same time, ecstasy, choir singing, stuttering ...)
Diedrich Diederichsen: Kippenberger, Shandyist

Film screening on Sunday, April 15, 1 p.m., Filmcasino Wien:
Michael Winterbottom, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, 2005

332 Seiten, 17 Farbabbildungen, 64 SW-Abbildungen
Texte: Diedrich Diederichsen, Helmut Draxler, Michael Dreyer, Clemens Krümmel, Shaun Regan, Franz Reitinger, Drehli Robnik, André Rottmann, Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt, Peter de Voogd, Tanja Widmann
Secession 2007, ISBN 978-3-902592-00-2
Distribution: Vice Versa, Berlin

chaired by Helmut Draxler
with Clemens Krümmel, André Rottmann, Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt, Josef Strau, Tanja Widmann
Thursday, February 22. 2007, 6.30 p.m., followed by a concert with Sergej Jensen and Josef Strau
An event of Friends of the Secession

Helmut Draxler, born in 1956, is professor for art theory at the Merz-Akademie in Stuttgart, author and curator, lives and works in Berlin.

Tags: Monika Baer, Georg Baselitz, Max Bill, Marcel Broodthaers, Bernadette Corporation, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Frank, Jack Goldstein, Gareth James, Sergej Jensen, Martin Kippenberger, Jutta Koether, Joseph Kosuth, Michael Krebber, Louise Lawler, Christian Philipp Müller, Pablo Picasso, Constanze Ruhm, Josef Strau, Franz West, Christopher Williams