artist / participant
Opening: Thursday, 12th November 2015, 18h
venue: Galerie Michaela Stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna
There is hardly a profession more myth-laden and, at the same time, as prestigious as that of the artist. The fact that the work of art defines its own laws, that the artist only follows his conscience and his genius by painting a picture just for the sake of itself, that they pursue the purpose of purposelessness, all these characteristics appealing to the freedom of art have – at least so it seems – given way to another practice: It is not the creation of works of art, but rather the habitus that is taught at the academies of fine arts, it is not craftsmanship and technique, but rather 'self-fashioning' – this at least is the diagnoses of various art historians and art critics. Therefore, the following aspect is in the focus of self-concept, success and the artist's right to exist: relations. Relations with museum employees and art historians, with gallery owners and exhibitors, with press people and collectors, to sum it up, with all those people who are involved in exhibiting and promoting art, giving a meaning to it and participating in the artists' success. The artistic genius is the gifted "networker" whose work may only unfold via his "good connections". He is not only concerned with economic aspects, but rather interested in prestige.
In his exhibition, Lukas Troberg (*1984) shows his "connections" – countless business cards which he has received on opening nights and other occasions over the last few years. Some influential people of action from the heart of the business have gathered here and would like to share their global art-scene friendship circles: curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, gallery owner Peter Kilchmann, Nana Bahlmann from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, collector Petch Osathanugrah from Thailand or Bärbel Vischer from the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art Vienna. But Troberg disappoints the observer; no, he does not disappoint the observer, but rather the outgoing curator, gallery owner or collector, for the cards have been meticulously yet simply framed, displaying the artistic network, but lacking the essential point: All contact details except for the name have been torn and extinct. Is this a game with systemic preconditions of art or a gesture of despair? Is it a flirt with the habitus, as described above, or a conscious liberation of the constraints of self-promotion?
excerpt from GOOD CONNECTIONS, Dr. Judith Elisabeth Weiss