Techne and the Decency of Means
Ulrich Bernhardt, Tyler Coburn & Ian Hatcher, Annabella Spielmannleitner & Benjamin Köder, This Light and Andrew Norman Wilson
Opening Saturday 11 November, from 5pm
with performances by Ulrich Bernhardt & Yvette Hoffmann, Hans-Joachim Irmler (Faust) and Boris Ondreička
After party from 10pm, DJ Flora
Techne and the Decency of Means extends from a long-running collaboration and production platform conceived by Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and Theater Rampe. The project, which has developed and formulated itself through newly realised works by artists working across exhibition space and stage, draws on the ancient Greek understanding of ‘téchne’ as a methodology and attitude. In its original classical usage, techne is a looping term, a description of making understood as rooted and material, as well as contingent and uncontainable. It is a term suggesting a seamless move between the will or the desire to imprint, and that which resists, or cannot be contained in processes of making. What techne takes us back to is effort, the effort of making something, an effort linked to intention and desire as well as means, access and responsibility.
Following this line, Techne and the Decency of Means is an exhibition and a series of settings at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart where relations between exhibition architecture, tool and artwork are actively negotiated and revealed. Drawing on techniques and approaches from prop making, set and light design, Annabella Spielmannleitner and Benjamin Köder are developing an installation, moving between cinematic figuration, broken narrative and a DIY spirit of production. The environment, featuring water elements, caves and cats provides the setting for a series of conversations, performances and workshops.
In Tyler Coburn’s expansive and amorphous white sculpture, Remote Viewer, a slippery form of materiality is produced. The title of the work conjures up Coburn and poet Ian Hatcher’s longer running engagement with remote viewing, a discipline employed by psychic spying units run by the CIA and the Stanford Research Institute between the 1970s and the mid-1990s. These units trained people with supposedly exceptional psionic abilities to mentally travel to covert sites and describe what they saw and experienced, using a pen, paper, and sometimes a mound of clay. The seamless alien object at Künstlerhaus forms one component in a series of reflections on remote viewing as a practice and as metaphor, highlighting a complex set of movements between knowability, technology and power.
The ancient notion of techne is no longer in active use. And yet, this process has been one of staying put, for a longer period of time and through the realisation of multiple projects, with a term that oscillates, loops and negotiates between what is and what isn’t (yet). This exhibition is one point in these conversations, exchanges and productions, a process of introducing techne to doubt, ecological dread and alienation, as well as to the pleasure and delight of bringing something into being.
This exhibition and its associated events are realised with the support of Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Baden-Württemberg (MWK). Techne and the Decency of Means is curated by Fatima Hellberg and Johanna Markert (Künstlerhaus Stuttgart) with Marie Bues and Martina Grohmann (Theater Rampe). The title is a homage to poet, writer and filmmaker Stefan Themerson for whom the decency of means was the “aim of aims.”
5 pm Ulrich Bernhardt, Die Schrecklich Gute Mutter
6 pm Welcome
8 pm Hans-Joachim Irmler (Faust), Concert
10 pm Boris Ondreička, Elegy on Pharmakon
Afterparty, DJ Flora
Exhibition continues: 12 November 2017 – 21 January 2018
Artists: Ulrich Bernhardt, Tyler Coburn & Ian Hatcher, Annabella Spielmannleitner & Benjamin Köder, This Light, Andrew Norman Wilson
Events with: Bonnie Camplin, Mary Helena Clark, Hans-Joachim Irmler (Faust), Daria Martin, Boris Ondreička, Steve Reinke, amongst others.
Opening hours: Wednesday-Sundy, 12-6 pm