Message as Medium

The Message as Medium

"The Message as Medium" is an exhibition which is not taking place in a gallery or a museum but exclusively in print media. From October 1990 to July 1991 every issue of the magazine "Cash Flow" is carrying a contribution from an artist of about 4 pages. Parallel to this a double page spread in the "Der Standard" newspaper is available once a month. At the end of the year all the issues will be collected in a set and distributed in the art world simultaneously as catalogue and edition (as well as the year's issues of Cash Flow). The word exhibition can be used because on the one hand no reproductions of "real" works will be seen and, on the other, because the printed pages are to be understood as a totally specific "space". And this does not mean the "white box" of enclosed and protected culture but rather a specifically world – orientated space, related to the public, to the distribution of information and to the economy.

It applies to all artists that the way of handling the respective medium and the particular public before whom they are appearing is to be treated as the actual theme. Any relation to previously existing formal, contextual and components is open to discussion. Principally it is about the artist's presentation of himself beyond the boundaries of his sheltered reservations in a world which is not necessarily his own. In this case between journalistic objectivity, perfection in design and the temptations of advertising. The artist is also confronted with a public which does not expect art in this setting. This way of presenting himself also leads to a new definition of himself since the contemporary artist no longer defines himself on his own terms but constantly in relation to others. His work can no longer be thought of in categories such as painting or sculpture. He acts as scientist, journalist, philosopher, politician, preacher or designer. Only the ways and means by which he serves the "others" designates him as an artist. No one is any longer really interested in the inner state of the genius as is anyway sufficiently propagated by cheap profiteers. It is much more a question of specific differences between, on the one hand, being bound by and, on the other, released from functional and institutional straightjackets (here, the two media). In this interaction lies the chance to be more than an agreeable investment and to create new forms of knowledge and consciousness.

(Vienna 1991)