MERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMER

Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Vienna
curated by Kendell Geers


In a letter that Man Ray wrote and posted to Tristan Tzara on the 18 June 1921, the American artist writes in capital letters across the entire top of the page

“MERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMER”

The hapax legomenon is a play on the punning words “MERDE” [shit], “LA MER” [the sea], “AMER” [bitter], “LAME” [blade], “MER DE LA MERDE” [sea of shit]. Beneath these letters, Ray collaged a photograph of a man with his penis tucked between his legs above a nude woman making a strange performative pose with her legs miming the shape of a capital letter “A”. To the left of the woman are the letters “de l’a” and to the right the letters “merique!” making the rebus “de l’Amerique!” [from America].

The woman in the photo was not just any woman, but the eccentric Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, who has largely been forgotten from mainstream art history, her work forgotten and voice silenced by her male accomplices.

The right to speak is the most basic of all human rights and, when denied, that right turns to rage and the voice of protest. History is a dictator written by the winners. History is but another mythology that is not fixed and, with time, is edited as the silent and oppressed find their voice. The news and social media streams are alive today with a new generation of voices – feminist, LGBT, women’s rights, freedom of speech and expression, and more. The land rights claims in South Africa, the fence along the US border, abortion rights in Alabama, the European refugee crisis, gilets jaunes in Paris, #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, anti-pollution and climate change are not separate problems, but all simply facets of one larger problem of disintegration, dissolution, alienation, denial, segmentation, prejudice and bigotry in the name of profit

“ME*****ME*****ME*****ME*****ME*****ME”

might just as well be the war cry of our contemporary age, the warble of cynical surrender, or the sign that hangs of the horizon of ecological disaster as the sun sets one last time on the sea of shit!

Your body, that temple of the nine holes, is key to your own emancipation and liberation. Your body is also at the centre of the revolution for climate change because you are what you eat, spit, cry, hear, smell, shit, fuck, piss and bite. As you breathe in the air that someone else just breathed out, the borders between you and the world you live in disappear and the oxygen becomes every body’s problem. The street food that you eat was cooked by someone else’s hands after it had been delivered by another’s who had taken it from yet another, whose green fingers seeded, sewed, nurtured and harvested their crop with love. Every time you eat and drink to live and grow with enough energy to love, think, feel and fuck, you are filling your synaesthetic senses with the emotions of every body in the chain of love and matrix of spirit we call reality.

Fuck Descartes; now is not the time to think – it’s time to ProTest. iPROtest, therefore I am!!


In einem Brief, den Man Ray am 18. Juni 1921 an Tristan Tzara adressierte, schrieb der amerikanische Künstler in Großbuchstaben an den oberen Rand der Seite

„MERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMER“

Das Hapaxlegomenon ist ein Wortspiel aus den Begriffen „MERDE“ [SCHEISSE], „LA MER“ [DAS MEER], „AMER“ [BITTER], „LAME“ [KLINGE], „MER DE LA MERDE“ [MEER AUS SCHEISSE]. Zwischen den Buchstaben collagierte er eine Fotografie eines Mannes, der seinen Penis zwischen seinen Schenkeln einklemmt, über die Fotografie einer nackten Frau, die eine seltsame performative Pose einnimmt und deren Beine den Großbuchstaben „A“ formen. Links der Frau steht „de’l“ geschrieben und rechts davon die Buchstaben „merique!“. Zusammen ergibt es den Rebus „de l’Amerique!“ [aus Amerika].

Die Frau auf dem Foto war niemand Geringere als die exzentrische Baronin Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, die von der etablierten Kunstgeschichtsschreibung weitgehend ignoriert wurde, deren Werk vergessen und deren Stimme von ihren männlichen Mitstreitern zum Schweigen gebracht wurde.

Das Recht zu sprechen ist das fundamentalste Menschenrecht und wenn es verwehrt wird, entstehen Wut und die Stimme des Protests. Geschichte ist ein Diktat, welches von den Gewinnern geschrieben wird. Geschichte ist nichts als eine Mythologie, die nicht festgesetzt ist und die sich mit der Zeit verändert, wenn die Stillschweigenden und Unterdrückten ihre Stimme finden. Die Nachrichten und sozialen Medien sind erfüllt von einer neuen Generation von Stimmen: Feministinnen, LGBT, Frauen-rechtlerinnen, Freiheit der Rede und des Ausdrucks u.v.m. Die Forderung nach Landrechten in Südafrika, die Mauer entlang der amerikanischen Grenze, das Abtreibungsgesetz in Alabama, die europäische Flüchtlingskrise, die Gelbwesten in Paris, #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, Anti-Pollution und Klimawandel sind keine singulären Probleme, sondern schlichtweg Facetten größerer Probleme wie Desintegration, Zerfall, Entfremdung, Verweigerung, Segmentierung, Vorurteil und Bigotterie im Namen des Profits.

„ICH*****ICH*****ICH*****ICH*****ICH*****ICH“

könnte genauso gut der Schlachtruf unserer gegenwärtigen Zeit sein, das Trällern einer zynischen Kapitulation oder das Zeichen, welches am Horizont der ökologischen Katastrophen zu erkennen ist, wenn die Sonne ein letztes Mal im Meer der Scheiße untergeht!

Dein Körper – Tempel der 9 Löcher – ist der Schlüssel zu Deiner Emanzipation und Befreiung. Dein Körper ist das Zentrum der Revolution des Klimawandels, da Du es bist, der entscheidet, was Du isst, spuckst, weinst, hörst, riechst, scheißt, fickst, pisst und beißt.

Du atmest die Luft ein, die jemand anderer ausgeatmet hat, die Grenze zwischen Dir und der Welt in der Du lebst verschwimmt und der Sauerstoff wird zu jedermanns Problem. Das Street Food, das Du zu Dir nimmst, wurde von den Händen eines anderen Menschen gekocht, nachdem es von jenen einer weiteren Person geliefert wurde, die es von jemandem erhalten hat, dessen Hände wiederum mit viel Liebe gesät, gepflegt, genährt und die Ernte eingebracht haben.

Jedes Mal wenn Du isst und trinkst, tust Du dies um zu leben und zu wachsen und um genug Energie zu erhalten um zu lieben, nachzudenken, zu fühlen und zu ficken. Du füllst Deine synästhetischen Sinne mit den Emotionen einer jeden Person aus dieser Liebeskette und Matrix der Sinne, die wir Realität nennen.Fick Dich Descartes, jetzt ist nicht die Zeit zu denken, sondern es ist Zeit für ProTest. iPROtest daher bin ich!!


Kendell Geers
Translation (German): Judith Radlegger

Cover: Dimensions: Shooting Star – Kate Moss 2016, Iv Toshain, Wood, stainless steel, print, shooting stars, chrome, performance involving the audience in a guerrilla-interaction at the Trabrennbahn Krieau, 2016, 42.5 x 30 x 13cm, © Iv Toshain

Artists
Marina Abramović, *1946 in Belgrade, lives and works in New York
Sanell Aggenbach, *1975 in South Africa, lives and works in Cape Town
Lynda Benglis, *1941 inLake Charles, USA, lives and works in NY, USA
Pamela Berkovic, * in Belgium, lives and works in New York and Paris
Belinda Blignaut, *1968 in Johannesburg, lives and works in South Africa
Bianca Bondi, *1986 in Johannesburg, lives and works in Paris
Anna Ceeh, *1974 in St. Petersburg, lives and works in Vienna
Valie Export, *1940 in Linz, lives and works in Vienna
FXXXism TC was founded by Iv Toshain and Anna Ceeh in 2012. They live and work in Vienna, Sofia and St. Petersburg
Gilbert & George, *1943 in Dolomites, Italy, * 1942 in Plymouth, England, live and work in London
Susy Gómez, *1964 in Pollença, lives and works in Mallorca
Fabrice Hyber (formerly: Fabrice Hybert), *1961 in Luçon in Vendée, lives and works in Paris
Aleksandra Karpowicz, *1984, lives and works in London
Thomas Lerooy, *1981 in Roselare, lives and works in Brussels
October!, collective (Aleksandra Karpowicz, IsabellaSteinsdotter, Fayann Smith)
Tracy Payne, *1965 in Cape Town, lives and works in Cape Town
Sandrine Pelletier, *1976 in Lausanne, lives and works in Brussels
Yapci Ramos, *1977 in Tenerife, lives and works between Barcelona,Tenerife and New York
Anneliese Schrenk, *1974 in Weiz, Austria, lives and works in Vienna
Lerato Shadi, *1979 in South Africa, lives and works in Berlin
Hank Willis Thomas, *1976 in Plainfield, lives and works in New York
Betty Tompkins, *1945 in Washington, lives and works in New York and Mt. Pleasant
Iv Toshain, *1980 in Sofia, lives and works in Vienna
James Webb, *1975 in Kimberley, Northern Cape, lives and works in South Africa
Sophie Whettnall, *1973 in Brussels, lives and works in Brussels

Art Must be Beautiful, Artist Must be Beautiful 1975  Marina Abramović  Video projection of the performance at the Charlottenburg Art Festival, Copenhagen Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives  © Marina Abramović

Art Must be Beautiful, Artist Must be Beautiful 1975
Marina Abramović

Video projection of the performance at the Charlottenburg Art Festival, Copenhagen
Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives
© Marina Abramović

Untitled (Portrait of a Lady) 2015  Pamela Berkovic  Black-and-white photography, 76.2 x 50.8 cm   © Pamela Berkovic

Untitled (Portrait of a Lady) 2015
Pamela Berkovic

Black-and-white photography, 76.2 x 50.8 cm
© Pamela Berkovic

#211 2006 Susy Gomez  Photo, 240 x 180 cm  © Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Vienna

#211 2006
Susy Gomez

Photo, 240 x 180 cm
© Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Vienna

In the name of the Mother, and the Daughter and the Holy Spirit 2019 Aleksandra Karpowicz  Photography (Print on ChromaLuxe metal), 30 x 40 cm   © Aleksandra Karpowicz

In the name of the Mother, and the Daughter and the Holy Spirit 2019
Aleksandra Karpowicz

Photography (Print on ChromaLuxe metal), 30 x 40 cm
© Aleksandra Karpowicz

Hidden Child October! Collective'  Music video featuring and created by the founding members of October! Collective: Aleksandra Karpowicz, Isabella Steinsdotter and Fayann Smith  © October! Collective

Hidden Child
October! Collective'

Music video featuring and created by the founding members of October! Collective: Aleksandra Karpowicz, Isabella Steinsdotter and Fayann Smith
© October! Collective

Cunt painting #16 2011 Betty Tompkins  Painting, Acrylic on Canvas, 137.2 x 106.7 cm Courtesy of Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels Copyright Betty Tompkins

Cunt painting #16 2011
Betty Tompkins

Painting, Acrylic on Canvas, 137.2 x 106.7 cm
Courtesy of Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels Copyright Betty Tompkins

Bio
South African-born, Belgian artist and curator Kendell Geers changed his date of birth to May 1968 in order to give birth to himself as a work of art.
Describing himself as an AniMystikAKtivist, Geers takes a syncretic approach to art that weaves together diverse Afro-European traditions, including animism, alchemy, mysticism, ritual and a socio-political activism, and is laced with black humour, irony and cultural contradiction.
In the spirit of the archetypal trickster, the artist uses his experiences as a white African like a skeleton key to unlock our understanding of history, culture and identity. “AniMystikAKtivist”, a catalogue with the same title, focuses on works created between 1988 and the present, considering the powerful legacy and influence of traditional African art on avant-garde movements, from Dada and Surrealism to punk and the Situationist International.
Spiritually charged, politically poignant and socially engaged, the work of Geers cannot be categorised as either European or African, but is rather a prolonged metaphysical dialogue between cultures, archetypal signs and sacred symbols.
Further Kendell Geers is working internationally in the role of a curator - his latest show “IncarNations” will be inaugurated at BOZAR Center for Fine Arts Brussels this upcoming June.