Sun, 17 June 2007
This Week: Guest interviewer Lisa Dorin talks to German artist Jana
Gunstheimer (see the blurb shamelessly lifted from the AIC website, below).
ALSO we get two different perspectives on the fight over the Public Art Program
and how they handle the selection and approval process. Kathryn talks to Olga
Stefan Executive Director of the Chicago Artists' Coalition at Monday's protest
Richard spent a lot of time chuckling to himself about the music cues in this weeks show.
German artist Jana Gunstheimer combines her academic training in ethnology with a refined figurative drawing practice to observe and comment on aspects of her own culture. Gunstheimer responds to the transformations she sees taking place in contemporary German society including postindustrial desolation, drastic unemployment, and rising levels of aggression among people of her generation by way of a semi-fictional organization she calls Nova Porta. Complete with a logo, Web site, and an actual membership, the organization offers People without Social Function a semblance of structure through group cohesion and rigid hierarchy.
Adopting impenetrable rituals, tireless evaluation procedures, and managed leisure, the organization's stated goal is risk management and its activities are driven, if not wholly fabricated, by the artist. Under the conceptual framework of Nova Porta, Gunstheimer effectively parodies hierarchical structures, bureaucracy, and, most importantly, society's need to define oneâ��s worth in terms of work.
Gunstheimer is the artist's first solo museum exhibition in the