On the occasion of Bedroom Talks n°2, The Public School for Architecture Brussels presents shopping on film. Through a screening and discussion of the Harun Farocki’s 2001 documentary film, ‘The Creators of Shopping Worlds’, this class expands on both the practical and conceptual questions explored in the exhibition 'TANGO CHALLENGE'.
The Creators of Shopping Worlds (72 min.)
Shopping is an everyday cultural act; it is inevitable, taken for granted. Entering into the world of shopping - the world of shopping malls - can be a Dantean voyage into hell or a redeeming ceremony of Communion. Everyone is familiar with this experience and knows what a mall looks like. This self-evident phenomenon is, however, the result of a highly complex process. The designing of shopping malls is overseen by an army of planners, managers and scientists: there are consultants, re-launch analysts, a central association, mall magazines. 6000 guests and laboratories attended an annual convention in Las Vegas at which questions were investigated as where the gaze of a customer falls and how a "spontaneous" purchase can be induced. Farocki shows how mall producers look at malls when they want to find out, for example, how passers-by move, where they stop and where they reach for an article. He adds these images to the everyday ones – and gives them a magical charge. (Antje Ehmann)
Farocki’s films lead us to think that the real brutality of power that uses advanced forms of technology, transmission, and mediation goes far beyond the application of physical violence on human bodies, and towards something much more delicate, much more refined. Its real violence arrives in something like boredom, in rendering the actual functioning of power as boring—uninteresting and technical on the surface, but eventually and ultimately authoritarian in its inaccessibility. It is from this point that Farocki’s mastery begins by identifying cinema as a historical meeting point between technology and seduction. Cinema has always been the name of the machine for merging warfare and entertainment, propaganda and pornography. (Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle)
is a project run by artists Amaury Daurel and Victor Delestre recently relocated in Brussels after a first season of exhibitions/collections held in Amsterdam. Deborah Bowmann stands between a brand and an exhibition space and thus embodies a studio practice and a curatorial practice.
Deborah Bowmann commits in developing new manners of thinking commodity and commerce in both aesthetic and economic terms in the fields of sculpture and design.
’TANGO CHALLENGE’ brings together a fragrance, a series of stands and a video. These elements maintain a certain form of independence regarding their connections to one another, developing a both tangible and suggested, invisible and physical system of relationship. ‘BÛCHE’, Olfactory Object realized by French artist Laurent-David Garnier contrasts and infiltrates the exhibition in its entirety. ‘some dancing around’, video realized by Italian artist Michele Rizzo shows a dance executed in the exhibition space, consisting of a distant interaction with Deborah Bowmann’s ‘Proposal for Andrea Crews’, like a sensitive, bodily translation of these forms.
‘TANGO CHALLENGE’ is a moment of collective transitions. It gathers elements that will, in a near future, be moved from the exhibition space to a mercantile one. Deborah Bowmann’s stands are the response to a commission from the brand Andrea Crews. While the exhibition will continue, the stands will leave the gallery to reach the Parisian store, leaving behind them a suggested and virtual presence. The other works of the exhibition are to follow the same pattern. From the 28th of February 2016 ‘BÛCHE’ will be on sale at ‘Andrea Crews’ in an edition of seven flasks while ‘some dancing around’ will be displayed in the style of an abstract advertisement. Like so, each element of the show exists in the form of an incomplete division, in which its apparition is contextually increased or subtracted. In this movement of de-contextualisation and re-contextualisation each piece’s status is to be put back into play, endangering the artwork’s capacities of resistance and questioning the very idea of such a resistance.
’TANGO CHALLENGE’ does not understand these transitive moments in their privative aspects but on the contrary as forms of augmentation, activation and enjoyment. It celebrates the non practical and non economic usages that are inherent to these objects. Like in a grasp, the different works are frozen in unfinished, fragmentary states. Starting from and developing around a request for a set design, ‘TANGO CHALLENGE’ produces an exchange between an economic agent – external to the art market – and an exhibition. In the style of a tango, decision making comes from both dancing parties, navigating a system of questions and answers, challenging the unidirectional interpretation of the artworks and encouraging a re-evaluation of the very nature of what is presented to us.