Where would pop culture be without its immortal Dead? Is death itself already Pop?
Recently the artist Natascha Stellmach acquired the ashes of former Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, who passed away in 1994. Ignited by this, her new installation encompasses photographic works and objects that investigate suicide, near death and the question of what remains after death. For one work, ‘set me free’ was written in the ashes and scanned. In another, Kurt Cobain, Adolf Hitler, Diane Arbus and the Brothers Grimm meet in a hallucinogenic twilight zone, the words of the story printed in tainted shades of grey, on black. And in an antique cigarette case engraved with ‘Gone.’, a joint made of ash and hash waits for its liberating ritual.
For several years Peter Dreher has also been preoccupied with the subject of death, although ostensibly. The renowned artist of the series, ‘Tag um Tag, guter Tag’ (Day by day is a good day), who has painted the same drinking glass since 1974, here covers meters of paper in human skulls. These gouaches, through their bleeding surfaces, reveal the remarkable form of the skull. Only within the context of the distinct outline do the abstract areas of colour convey meaning. Through Dreher’s serial layering, death becomes more abstract and loses its terror. Don’t his skulls grin?
In contrast, email spam seems immortal and celebrates its 30th birthday this year. In the cross-media project, ‘SPAM the musical’ anonymous artists have made spam both their artistic subject and method. Spam emails were collected for two years to become scripts for video art. These 5-minute videos with titles such as ‘The Lonely Girls’ or ‘The Lottery’ are presented entertainingly and their promises visualised operatically. Still spam also has its dark side. In each video’s second part, ‘deleted scenes’, illusions about love and desire are rapidly broken. You find ‘SPAM the musical’ everywhere on the web, in your spam filter or on www.spamthemusical.com.
I just wanted you to love me Press Release as pdf-File 218 KB