Bawag Contemporary

Nothing but Pleasure

30 Jun - 26 Aug 2006

Nothing but Pleasure
30 June 2006 - 26 August 2006

With John Bock (DEU), Angus Fairhurst (GBR), Fischli/Weiss (CHE), Marcus Geiger (CHE), Gelitin (AUT), Rodney Graham (CAN), Georg Herold (DEU), Buster Keaton (USA), Jon Kessler (USA), Friedrich Kunath (DEU), Peter Land (DNK), Andres Lutz/Anders Guggisberg (CHE), Aleksandra Mir (SWE), Jonathan Monk (GBR), John Pilson (USA), Andreas Slominski (DEU), Rosemarie Trockel (DEU), Christoph Weber (AUT), Franz West (AUT), and Heimo Zobernig (AUT)

The title Nothing But Pleasure describes the pure pleasure experienced when looking at these works to which one is glad to return. On the other hand, some artists have taken the word "pleasure" literally and cheerfully invoked some form of bliss.

Nothing But Pleasure is also a humorous comment on the present state of affairs which can only be met with tears or smiles like any other unanswerable situation. The comic serves as a means of distancing oneself, as it were, and thus breaks up the only too obtrusive presence of the real. Or, to quote the German author and Georg Büchner Prize winner Wilhelm Genazino: “The comic is also the comfort that has to invent itself through the life continuously failed. The comic act is a kind of reward for an urgently required interruption.” The sphere of slapstick offers itself as an overwhelming opportunity of taking a break. It is a world of mad collisions where a spectacular chaos prevails and the twists of destiny boycott all possible moral judgments (Ralph Rugoff). The protagonists are mostly victims of chance and universal gravitation. The loss of control and balance guarantees a respectable pleasure though. The great masters of slapstick such as Buster Keaton brilliantly celebrate their defeats and, unperturbed, ignore the paradoxical simultaneousness of order and chaos.

© Image by Buster Keaton

Tags: John Bock, Angus Fairhurst, Gelitin, Rodney Graham, Georg Herold, Jon Kessler, Friedrich Kunath, Peter Land, Aleksandra Mir, Jonathan Monk, John Pilson, Andreas Slominski, Rosemarie Trockel, Christoph Weber, Fischli & Weiss, Franz West, Heimo Zobernig