Tell me about it – Describing in outs
Gerry Bibby and Tanja Widmann
Saturday, January 20, 2018
The allegedly neutral and standardized “work description” is ubiquitous in relation to art works: We encounter it in wall texts, in criticism and in the context of art education. Mostly, it is considered a necessary evil, a means to an end or as tedious groundwork for the shaping of opinion. Conversely, one may claim work descriptions as the foundation of any communication about art: What they acknowledge or ignore, how they evaluate and structure, which (language) barriers they create or remove, determines access to the work in question. In this open format Bibby and Widman each present to one another a “work” of their choosing and discuss the aesthetic, social and personal functions of work descriptions as a process in which the real and the fictional, the self and the other can enter into new and unexpected connections.
Tanja Widmann works as an artist and writer and teaches at the University for applied Arts Vienna. Widmann’s practice of installation Art targets the interrelations of language, affect and subject formation and the artwork as the site of economic and symbolic value production. Her works were shown at: Nous Moules, c/o Kunstbüro, Vienna, Tomorrow today, Emanuel Layr, Vienna, Destination Vienna, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Unrest of Form. Imaginations of the political subject, Secession, Vienna, eine von euch, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Manifesta 8, Murcia. In 2016 she initiated the workshop Post-apocalyptic Self-reflection together with Barbara Reisinger at the University of applied Arts, Vienna, 2017 with Tonio Kröner the event series Postapocalyptic Realism at Museum Brandhorst in Munich. Her publications include Tanja Widmann/Helmut Draxler (eds.): Ein kritischer Modus? Die Form der Theorie und der Inhalt der Kunst and the artist book To Make Oneself Similar. Clever & Smart. Nr. 38.
Gerry Bibby works between the boundaries of language, performance and sculpture. In the last years he increasingly engaged with different text forms: from stories and scientific reports to manuals and poems. 2014 his artist book The Drumhead (Sternberg Press) was published. His works were most recently shown at Deborah Schamoni (Munich); Taylor Macklin (Zurich), the Showroom (London) and in various group shows a.o. Section Litteraire, Kunsthalle Bern, Swiss Institute Rome and the Biennale of Sydney’s Bureau of Writing, at Artspace, Sydney. He is currently co-Editor of the Berlin magazine Starship.
The event accompanies the exhibition CLASS LANGUAGES – Exhibition, Magazine, Debate, on view at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf through February 4, 2018.