Social.Gold and Gold.Social   

Texte / Dr Peter Assmann  [ deutsch ]

       

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Text in the Process-Documentation for T.A. 02895 and T.A.03095 (Galery Pohlhammer, Steyr and Upper Austrian Press Club, Linz)

When Johannes Angerbauer creates his individually conceived “Handlungen,” always on the theme of Gold, and partially integrates them in an ambient field, or respectively, when the ambient field itself integrates the pieces, his specific artistic attitude is taken to be a social procedure. Angerbauer’s Art, at least since the time of Josef Beuys’s pronouncement, “Every human being is an artist,” is a logical continuation of the catchword-style summarization of the conception of Art as it was in the sixties. Just as Johannes Angerbauer defines himself and his Kunstwollen in absolute social categories, creative Art current today is defined primarily in the context of a ceremonial ritual. While Josef Beuys spoke principally of the creative possibilities in every person, of the potential of Art, the actual outward appearance of Art, Johannes Angerbauer busies himself not only with these possibilities, but rather with forms of socially active processes which—naturally and almost automatically—transform every integrated person into an artist. Art becomes such a procedure, a structured course of action.

 
 
   
 
   
   
   
   
     

In the concrete case of the artistic rites of Johannes Angerbauer, each individual of the many who step across his golden threshholds becomes in so doing an artistic co-creator. Each has left behind his own personal trace, which together with many others identifies a total process of actual creativity. At the conceptually prestructured end of such a process stands the resulting work of art. Thus does Angerbauer conceive and realize not just a pure art operation or art performance—rather, he boxes  the creative action and the artwork which results into a common sphere of experience.

       

The main theme of this artist’s work, in contrast to the dominant aspect of social plasticity, is the material Gold. According to traditional interpretation gold is of course the apex of worth, signalizing the permanence of value absolute; with Angerbauer, however, it is set free as a fragile stratum subject to wear and tear. Gold as an abstract basis of our market economy, gold as a symbol of power, and thereby the main goal in the collective mind of our society, is presented as a down-to-earth material, as a decorative stuff submissive to transformation. It is matter which represents eternal value neither symbolically nor factually, rather is bound as is any other element to changes in the course of events. But Angerbauer does not only entirely demolish the traditional veneration of gold; in addition to this he renders gold as a sort of mirror image, directing the attention of the observer back to himself. We are pointedly challenged with the question of balance between the taking and the giving of value, with the quest for social, material, intellectually-energetic equilibrium.  Angerbauer confronts this golden ever-changing Spiegelschicht  with word and illustration which refer in the main to the material Gold as it exists in the history of human thought.  These words and illustrations are always formulated as questions, and at the same time as indicators of many firmly-fixed judgmental and pigeonholing attitudes.

 

In his artistic works Johannes Angerbauer displays by means of his topical Art and in highly intelligent fashion, how a critical reflection of these fixations can ensue. His Art does not camouflage itself—on the contrary, it presents itself openly not as something devised by an external observer, but directly to Society in manifold style—an instrumentality showing reflection as an element of motion. He illustrates simultaneously in an extremely striking manner how complete concentration on a principal theme can in the very same manner make possible the unblocking of pre-stamped ideas and opinions, releasing them onto a wide field of related themes.

       
 

Homepage Dr. Peter Assmann:  www.peter-assmann.com