DEUTSCHE TEXTVERSION Letting Go | Maia Damianovic

It's hard to be ahead of your time. The inventor challenges the status quo, pushes the boundaries of received knowledge. In today's globalised art world, an inventive artist produces independently in the face of the almost overwhelming pressures of pragmatic interests and the international market. It can often be an isolated role. Ironically, it also involves rather generously laying the path for future practitioners to follow, who can benefit from the earlier groundbreaking work and perhaps offer something more palatable to prevailing tastes. Despite the much-vaunted aims of postmodernism – ahistoricity, subjectivity, cross-category interaction – we find ourselves at an impasse, in a time of a disintegrating International Style of High Modernism. So-called postmodernist theory, in the ascendant for quite some time, is often not practically implemented. Simply put, practice and theory do not match, and this is one of the main crises in art today.

Performative Interaction p. 1, 2
Green Gel p. 2
The Invisible Line p. 3
Handmates p. 4
Tie or Untie p. 4
The Big Perch p. 5
Loosing Control p. 6
    Many critics, curators and artists are dealing with this situation by promoting such issues as the beautiful (addressed, for instance, by Dave Hickey); the aesthetic of invisibility; the re-emergence of the spectacular, often featuring endurance-based performances (such as David Blaine's in London) and even reality-based television, which offer an outdated notion of performance, turning the viewer into a totally passive observer. Not to mention the almost franchise-like development of museums spearheaded by the Guggenheim. The cause is ill served by all this – postmodernism was supposed to advance the causes of individuality and the inventive singular voice rather than historical precedent. Contemporary exhibitions and artworks are facing a challenge that requires approaches that could override the pervasive standardisation of artwork, and also of public perception.
    For over two decades, Martin Walde has been making projects that transgress formal and categorical boundaries. His work defies a superficial reading. Walde's main topics are "The Other" and an investigation of "Otherness". His creative effort is underpinned by a thorough exploration of "critical populism", the "directly experiential" and "performative interactions". These are less concerned with the metaphorical or mytho-poetic, or any notion of "deeper meaning" than with instrumentalising the relationship between artwork and public in sensitive and critical terms. Consequently, they focus on the possibility of art as an actuality, rather than a mediated representation. All such practices search out connections with various social, cultural and political situations that would not only investigate, but also broaden the scope of artwork/public communication.
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