Friday, 30 May 2008

recent text by Alex de Vries

Dutch art-critic Alex de Vries recently wrote this text on Andreas Templin's work-practice:

"Should you describe Andreas Templin's work in art-historical terms, you would have to call him a neo-situationist, but it is doubtful whether he would like this classification. In any case, he is an artist who, in a practical sense, endows his work with a content that is hardly tangible, but eminently suitable to being experienced. He is the producer of experiences and sensations which he prepares and facilitates with great care. He creates the conditions in which the things he has in mind can best come about. He selects the location, arranges the extras - hundreds, if necessary - takes care of the props, acquires the rights, organizes the distribution, the promotion, the PR and the post-production.

In fact, Andreas Templin is the artist par excellence. He keeps control of everything. Yet his one and only focus is the idea and the concept underlying massive interventions in public space. Often, these are immaterial in character, nor do they boast any real visual documentation. He acts on an international scale, working together with all kinds of people inside and outside the artistic world, gives lectures, organizes discussions, sets up exhibitions, takes up a political stance, offers opposition against the laws of the art market and yet tries to function in the world of art. In Madrid he asked 150 people to wear a T-shirt featuring the names of Paul Virilio, Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault, as fashionable logos of the philosophical collapse of this day and age. He placed an actor across from them, carrying two placards, reading: Hell is Coming, World Ends Today. The perspective of religion in a nutshell.

From an early age, Andreas Templin has also engaged in music making, playing the piano especially. He likes to whistle some tune or other, and recorded a Bach composition in which he casually whistled the music, in accordance with John Cage's adagium that music is best ingested inadvertently when, walking down the street, you hear a melody coming from a house. Andreas Templin's view is that every decision he makes as an artist, is hand-made: “You cannot renounce your signature.” ⓒAlex de Vries