Mit Mokka nach Mekka, for Bruce
7 September – 2 November 2013
Opening: 7 September, 5–8 pm
The show, Mit Mokka nach Mekka, for Bruce, is titled after a work by German sculptor Meuser. The exhibition investigates the self-reflexive and discursive field of art-making. And is based on the notion of inspiring ’source’ material. The concept expands on the format of the book – exploring different practices that are book related in the specific medium on view. Mit Mokka… is thus a show that can be ‘read’ and includes rare, avant-garde art periodicals (on loan from a private collection), historical photographs by little known Swiss photographer Miklós Klaus Rózsa photographs by Brâncuși of his own work in situ and engravings by Thomas Bewick and featuring a poem by Joe Brainard. The mixing of historical periods and mediums heightens the significance of the pieces as ‘sources’ – works to, potentially, be digested, quoted or learned from.
It’s 38 degrees and there’s a forest fire smoking just over the ridge of the mountains behind us. It’s too hot to walk to the pool. But the wind has picked up and that might mean we can get a draft going in the house, cool it down enough to be able to sleep tonight. You turn to me and say, ‘I’m looking forward to watching the Lubitsch film.’
A phone rings and you pick it up and it’s Bruce, stoned and sunburned, from Los Angeles who tells you he’s sorry. He tells you he’s sorry for not being here, at the house, with you. He tells you that you were right, that he should have flown to the workshop this summer, and he tells you he’s sorry he’s not in New Hampshire and that he’s sorry he hasn’t called you in a week and you ask him what he’s doing in Los Angeles and don’t mention that it has been two months.*
You do however mention the fire. And then Bruce tells you how he wants to get in a car and drive up his own mountain and be able to walk into an air conditioned clinic and see like 30 Bewicks and 30 Brâncușis, bam, bam, right next to a big steel cube by Meuser and he says he’s been reading and rereading Control and quotes Brainard like punctuation and then he tells you he’s holding onto all the Miklós Klaus Rózsa’s surveillance records. ‘Hundreds of them,’ he whispers. You want to think about this, put it into context somehow, somewhere maybe, but it’s gotten hotter and your thoughts fizzle midair.
He’s still talking when you walk out the sliding doors to check on the fire and when you return he’s saying how Roger was in the limo with him back from the hotel and there was a new commercial for the Lost Weekend with a Van Halen contest on* and he turned to Roger who was too stoned to turn to him and said ‘I always wanted to show an imprint of my thumb next to Manzoni’s.’
You hadn’t said a word back, not since the beginning of the call and by now I spot ash on the tiled bathroom floor and can see flames curling at the ridge instead of just smoke so I start packing a bag with what I think we won’t be able to live without and mouth so that Bruce can’t hear: ‘We. Have. To. Go.’ But Bruce is still on speaker, still going strong: ‘…I said to Roger, right then as we were leaving the zoo, I said, the animals remind me of things I can’t explain. And he kisses my hand and I think, I have faith in this man – let’s drive to the clinic right now.’
Mit Mokka nach Mekka, for Bruce, with, in alphabetical order:
Engraver and natural history author
Artist, poet, and theater set designer
‘He had endless discussions with Beuys and shared a love for picture titles with Kippenberger.’
Miklós Klaus Rózsa
Photographer and activist
POOR.OLD.TIRED.HORSE.; KWY; PHANTOMAS; META; CONTROL; INTERVIEW; EPHEMERA; FANDANGOS; KISS; ARCADE; C-MAGAZINE; OFFICINA; STEREO HEADPHONES; REVUE NUL=0; FUCK YOU; JUST ANOTHER ASSHOLE; INTERNATIONALE SITUATIONNISTE and PLANKTON; JAN CREMER KRANT; OPEN OOG
Please help Christoph Nüssli and Christoph Oeschger realize their beautiful book by making a donation! More information you find here.
Mit Mokka nach Mekka, for Bruce is made possible with the support of Stadsdeel Zuid, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Swiss Arts Council and Kunstverein’s (Gold) members. With thanks to the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, John Benjamins, neugerriemschneider, coos de wit wonen scandinavisch georïenteerd, and The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis*