Discoteca Flaming Star "für Boris für Ingrid"

14 Mar - 25 Apr 2009

Discoteca Flaming Star
Black Banner 3, 2009 (close up)
Threads, sequins, glue on rack netting
400 x 1200cm

14 March – 25 April 2009

The performance project Discoteca Flaming Star (Cristina Gomez Barrio & Wolfgang Mayer, live in Berlin) emphasises on entanglements of performative stagings and installations, in a manner of speaking translations and re-interpretations of performance into an exhibition.
Most of all Discoteca Flaming Star works as an inter-disciplinary performance group, its referential origins being marked by an intensive examination of music and literature, relating to cultural studies and socio-political themes. Apart from alternating collaborations with artists of diverse fields, gestures of the experimental, spontaneity and the liberation of conformism are central to their work. Allegedly disparate, sanctioned definitions and expectations are dissolved in favour of a celebration of desire, fragility and doubts.
Their performances take on the character of a synaesthetical collage, on the one hand related to the scenographies that through their performatively integrated works – banners and rugs that are endued with aphorisms, film projections, drawings and collages – arrange the entire staging simultaneously.
Coevally songs and texts from a wide variety of styles, ages and cultures are appropriated, stylistically new interpreted and translated into other languages, consistently accumulated through the performative dialogue with the audience.
In their installations the viewer encounters works that have been or will be constitutive parts of performances as well as filmic recordings of their stagings. In order to transcend the documentary status of this material the artists work for instance with the experimental film maker François Boué since many years whose characteristic mode of filming adds the recordings an autonomous status of work. Thus the performative and spatial elements of their work get into a fluxionary, interpenetrating and processual exchange.
Black Banner (3), 2009, transforming the large room, exists so far as a potential performance-prop and displays another contribution of the artists to enrich interior and exterior space with aesthetic messages.
The permeable and at the same time resistant net-texture of this banner refers on its actual use as a protection device for restoration work in urban space and thus on work and action in the broader sense. The repetitive fragment of sentence „NoBoris“ that is woven with a thread into the net, is wandering along the banner in an uncanny and seemingly autarkic repetition, not least suggesting a manufactoring error. „NoBoris“ refers to Boris Lurie (1924-2008), holocaust-survivor and one of the founding fathers of the „NO!art“-movement that was initiated 1959 in New York. The movement revolted against the artsystem, propagated the freedom of idea and was strongly coined by moment of collaboration, the solidary organisation and a drastic aesthetic, what is therefore creating benchmarks of fascination. Not following the onesided-romanticizing reputation of „NO!art“ and Lurie, biographical contradictions are here thematized on the character itself.
The second figure of reference „Ingrid“ emanates from a narration that leans itself on a real biography that has been written and fictitiously extended by the two artists some years ago. In this narrative „Ingrid“, who was a known perfomance-artist in the 1970s, confides a love-episode of her current life to the columnist „Gina Ashcroft“ who is in charge of the agony box of an art magazine. By doing this „Ingrid“ is not least creating herself a room to express her narcism. „Gina Ashcroft“ is a literary figure from some of the pulp-like novels by the american artist Rita McBride. Numerous writers, curators and artists as Discoteca Flaming Star have contributed on the stories of „Gina Ashcroft“.
The artists have translated their narration that is constructed in the dialogical form of letters into the sound-piece Ingrid (Inzwischen) [meanwhile], 2009. Here the throughout same female voice recites fragmentary pieces of this dialogue, interrupted by soundfrequencies.
The listener is required to actively extend the narration of the now delicately differentiable characters by himself.
In the contrarian couple of terms „Halluzination & Organisation“ [„hallucination & organisation“] that is reapeted on the banner, this entanglement of fiction and social reality, self-manifestation and reactive impact is indicated in the two figures Boris and Ingrid and urges the spectator to reflection and imagination, also without awareness of the concrete references that are being made.
The installation Discoteca Guitarrera Funkstorm (2004-2008) shows on one monitor a tv-documentation and on a second monitor two shoots by François Boué of a performance that was given by Discoteca Flaming Star together with the group for traditional music „El Arroyo Los Cagaos“ on the village square of the small Spanish village „Viandar de la Vera“ in 2004. Akin to the mixture of musical pieces, the social experience and the celebration of the memory of Pop by Discoteca Flaming Star, the group „El Arroyo Los Cagaos“ mingle traditional music of their culture with new elements and work with the agent of improvisation and spontaneity.
In many cases the repertoire of the latter are music-pieces that disappeared under the dictatorship of Franco as they were inaptly for political instrumentalisation.
In view of the consequences by the homogenising effect of globalisation the two groups debate and examine through their common performance questions concerning the possibilities of handling songs and tales that transport, as oral history and cultural heritage, identity-related and traditional values.
The question how folklore can be practised these days without lapsing into conservatism and without forgetting about the facticity of the global movements, the groups converge by their unprejudiced, trans-cultural communication. In order to make this deficit of the not-lived experience and the socio-political context of the performance approachable to the spectator, the two groups have released a publication four years later that can be taken along by the visitors
Another reference concerning the question of origin and identity is raised by Wurfbanner, 2008. These as typical Spanish flamenco shawls known cloth, the „Mantons de Manila“, have been painted with slogans that evolved during the performane in „La Vera“ and refer at the same time on the fact that the origin of cultural identity, bound to objects and practices is never designated by hegemonial uniqueness.
The „Mantons“ arise originally not from Manila, but China. The cloth attained in the course of the centuries over trade routes Mexico, crossed the country and while adding on their voyage through space and time new elements they finally reached Spain.
Along their collaborative work Cristina Gomez Barrio and Wolfgang Mayer also create individual pieces, mainly drawings and collages that are, as mentioned before, often integrated in their performances. A selection of those works are presented in this exhibition.
Since some years Wolfgang Mayer sues to visualize the mental, abstract space between the invididual reading process of literature and the going along of the subtle changements that literature can effectuate in the reader.
Mayer anatomizes books as for example narratives from Sebald oder Malaparte into their linguistic components and condenses and rearranges these to new figurations in order to emblamatise the created metaphorical spaces of memory and imagination.
With her watercolour-collages Cristina Gomez Barrio bargains the visual estate of female performance artists as in this exhibition presented works, photocopied images of Yvonne Rainer and thus reflects also on her own work. Through the tactile, almost sculptural act of cutting away, arranging new and the addition of own, abstract visual spaces, the artist proves the possibilities of a cogitation about past experience and its living on imaginary while at the same time an individual, poetical archive rises.

Tags: Rita McBride, Rita McBride, Yvonne Rainer, Rainer Fetting, Discoteca Flaming Star