“I’ve at all times been notably thinking about social points, and as society is continually topic to vary, as it’s processual, this type of illustration performs a component. Whereby I’m not thinking about ‘replica,’ however slightly I’m making an attempt to power my manufacturing supplies into parallel processes.”
The title “Welt im Kopf” [World in Mind], borrows from Brehmer’s 1970 16 mm video work. The exhibition combines seminal and beforehand unexhibited artworks—drawings, prints, work, movies, and objects—and ephemera and archival paperwork made between the Sixties and mid-Nineteen Eighties. The exhibition is organized in two components and doesn’t comply with chronology, offering an outline of Brehmer’s advanced methodologies structured by a central query: How can the way in which capital shapes the notion of actuality within the minds of the person and the collective be made seen?
At Petzel Gallery, artworks from the Sixties are supposed to train “ideological kleptomania” (Georg Jappe), achieved by subverting state symbols from each side of the Iron Curtain. Works based mostly on commemorative stamps, the “enterprise playing cards of the state” (Walter Benjamin)—e.g., depicting John F. Kennedy, Soviet propaganda, and German monuments—or altered flags are juxtaposed with these made out of appropriated commercials. Influenced by correspondence with Richard Hamilton, these “Trivialgrafiken” check how client want is engineered and beliefs naturalized. Not solely did Brehmer depict politically-charged material, however he additionally addressed methods (such because the cliché print), distribution, and collective actions with different artists. For instance, a uncommon 1968 version of the influential journal Interfunktion, on view within the exhibition, paperwork how Brehmer and artists like Chris Reinecke positioned themselves in opposition to documenta and its organizers, a number of of whom had previous ties to the Nazi regime, resembling Werner Haftmann.
Maxwell Graham Gallery presents stamps alongside summary works made across the time of his participation in exhibitions that embody “Artwork Into Society, Society Into Artwork” at ICA London with Hans Haacke, amongst others. These works are supposed to replicate the politics of societal methods, geography, and hegemonic and colonial mechanisms, as seen within the large-scale Zeitzonen set up first offered in 1976 at René Block Gallery, and subsequently at Centre Pompidou. From the Nineteen Seventies onwards, Brehmer began working with diagrams and statistics that thought-about financial output and inhabitants information, coinciding with the conceptualization of biopolitics within the Western welfare states. The expansive sequence of works Seele und Gefühl eines Arbeiters (1978–81)—based mostly on a examine on employee’s feelings and productiveness—brings to thoughts the strain between quantification, administrative abstraction, and lived expertise at play within the works of artists resembling stanley brouwn or Hanne Darboven. With works resembling Über die Bilder from 1979—brushstroke renderings of thermal imaging of mind exercise whereas discussing footage—the exhibition traces the artist’s emergence as a prototype for the individualized cognitive employee and the rise of a type of capitalism pushed by information and suggestions.
Elisa R. Linn and Lennart Wolff
at Maxwell Graham, New York
till April 1, 2023
at Petzel Gallery, New York
till April 29, 2023