Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

21 March 2018

Dr Great Art Episode 32: Tell Tales Show


Dr Great Art Podcast. Episode 32: Telltales Show. The Telltale Project, an Exhibition in NYC Concerning the Problems of History and Art Histories. How is history constructed? Who makes history? And what will remain in the future from us and our culture? What is the truth? What is fabrication? Isn’t a well-told tale more exciting than simple data and facts? Facts are extremely important. Not everything goes --- yet all facts and sources of facts must be closely examined and often criticized. (Art) HistorIES. A show at Central Booking Art Space, NYC, by Mark Staff Brandl and Alex Meszmer/Reto Mueller
http://drgreatart.libsyn.com/episode-32-telltales-show
#arthistory #CentralBooking #history #TemporaryMuseumPfyn


Here is the script.

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Dr Great Art Podcast 32

Tell Tales Show

Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the 32nd "Dr Great Art" brief podcast.

My artecdote this time is a description of and invitation to the show I have with the artist duo Meszmer/Mueller in the Central Booking Art Space in New York City. A bit of self-advertising here, yet also an interesting idea for an exhibition, I believe. I hope you enjoy it.

We call it "The Telltale Project" or alternately, "Tell Tales." I'll use both here.

The Telltale Project is an exhibition in the OffLINE space of Central Booking, featuring Mark Staff Brandl, who is here known as "Dr Great Art," or "me"," as you know, and the Transitory Museum of Pfyn, which is the artist duo Alex Meszmer and Reto Mueller.

It runs from the 5th – 25th March 2018.

The Opening, or Vernissage as we say in Europe, is the 8th of March, 2018, 6 pm.

There will also be a Presentation by Meszmer/Mueller titled Tales of a Village, the Titanic and 6000 years, on the 15th of March 2018.

If you live anywhere nearby, please come! See you there! Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Besuch!

Now on to the meat of the show:

It includes artworks by Meszmer/Mueller and me consisting of a wall installation arrangement concerning the problems of the tales of art history by me, and installations that relate stories about "Heimat/homeland" by Meszmer/Mueller.

'Telltale' has a variety of related meanings and can be translated in several ways. 'Telltale' can mean a gossiper, a snitch or it can suggest that something is suspicious, revealing or has been exposed. It can mean a device or system which is an indicator, signal, or sign. "To tell a tale," means to narrate a story, one which could be a fable or a fairytale, perhaps even that the storyteller is pulling someone's leg.

Questions therefore arise: What is the truth? What is fabrication? Are these differentiations important? Isn’t a well-told tale more exciting than simple data and facts? Facts are extremely important. Not everything goes --- yet all facts and sources of facts must be closely examined and often criticized.

'Telltale' as a term is also reminiscent of "telling tall tales." Tall tales are an important element of American folk literature, beginning with the obviously larger-than-life bragging contests in the frontier west, several made famous by Mark Twain. These stories concern unbelievable occurrences, related as if they were true, yet told with a wink. The exaggerations make it clear to the audience that the supposedly truthful narrator knows that they know he is lying for entertainment value.

This brings to mind the far more pernicious notion of 'fake news' being bandied about recently: lies spread in the media for propagandistic reasons, and even more appalling, the creators of those lies claiming them to be true while deceitfully claiming all actual facts and other opinions are the 'fake news.' The complete Goebbelsesque inversion!

All of these meanings play into the artworks by Dr Great Art Brandl and Temporary Museum Meszmer/Müller.

Stories and history have been the center of Alex Meszmer and Reto Mueller’s art for years. The center of origin and vital reference point for the artists is the village of Pfyn and the house where the two artists reside; the house itself was built on the remains of the foundations of the ancient city walls of the Roman colonial castrum Ad Fines. They live in a house surrounded, even supported, by history. The ask themselves: how is history constructed? Who makes history? And what will remain in the future from us and our culture?

For The Telltale Project Meszmer/Mueller further developed their installation No Fairer Land / Kein schöner Land. This an installation of found landscape paintings refashioned into pillows with a soundtrack of songs of their homeland hummed by people of various nationalities, i.e. 'Heimatlieder' as they are called in German. They will also be showing their Family Album / Familienalbum, comprised of manipulated photographs enabling different perspectives on gender relations or marriage for those in the past. Additionally, a video-installation of history and stories of Pfyn, Thurgovia, Switzerland, will be in the exhibition. Incidentally, Meszmer is German with Switzerland as his chosen home, Mueller is an original Swiss, and I am a German-American from Chicago as well as a naturalized Swiss citizen. All three of us have lived in a variety of countries and with a variety of other cultures, which clearly affects our views on the world.

My art, Mark Staff Brandl’s artwork, revolves around a project concerning art histories (purposefully in the plural), their creation, reception and usefulness for us today. In performance-lectures and related installations and podcasts, as you my listeners know, I takes viewers and listeners on hopefully fascinating journeys through art and its history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically I analyze and discuss the reasons why a work of art is great, or through entire eras, or specific questions and problems in art and cultural history, or indeed through the entirety of art history. When they are lecture-performances, they usually take place with painted background screens and even in my entire painting-installations.

For The Telltale project, I created a wall installation which centers on the history of art history. It concerns the often "missing" elements, people and cultures within it; and the creation of a more open, expansive, inclusive and self-critical model of art history and the teaching of art history. Not a master narrative, but rather models (listen about that difference in the Dr Great Art podcast Nr. 27).

My piece includes two large hand-drawn and painted visual compendiums of art history — one the more-or-less-standard one, but images only. The other is all and exclusively women artists. Both pieces cover from prehistory through Postmodernism. Also included is a self-portrait print with all word-bearing, critical, "Covers" paintings that feature in my theme song, Shut Up and Paint by the Handcuffs, a tiny portion of which begins and end each of these podcasts. In my portion of the show, there is also a hand-drawn, braid-like image of a complex, intertwined model of the art history time line; one which is under constant revision, a work in progress created by me and my students; several additional related prints; a book comprised of drawings representing holes in art history discovered while teaching it; and a sequential, comic-like object, presenting a tale concerning the love-hate behind visiting contemporary art fairs and biennales, drawn on the backs of entry badges for Basel Art Fair, documenta, the Venice Biennale and the like. The object was created in collaboration with the great London art critic, author and artist Matthew Collings.


Oh yeah, the major shout outs! The Telltale Project is supported by:


Kulturstiftung des Kantons Thurgau
and
Kulturförderung Appenzell Ausserrhoden


And of course the wonderful Maddy Rosenberg, artist and director of Central Booking! Thanks again Maddy and Will!

Thanks for listening. Podcast number 32.
Tell Tales Art Show

If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

You can find or contact me at

www.drgreatart.com/ (spell)

book me at www.mirjamhadorn.com (spell) or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all as Dr Great Art.



Dr Great Art Podcast Episode 31: 3 Useful Feminist Ideas for Art


Dr Great Art podcast, Episode 31: 3 Useful Feminist Ideas for Art (and Metaphor). A short podcast presenting three ideas from Feminist philosophy useful for art and metaphor: pragmatic action over absolutism, the located self, and finding loopholes in hegemonies to allow creative resistance.
iTunes, Spotify or http://drgreatart.libsyn.com/episode-31-3-useful-feminist-ideas-for-art 

Here is the script.
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Dr Great Art Podcast 31

3 Useful Feminist Ideas for Art

Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the 31st "Dr Great Art" brief podcast. I hope you enjoy it and come back for each and every one.

My artecdotal theme this time is a very short description of 3 ideas from Feminist philosophy which are crucial and empowering for art, metaphor and metaphor(m).

Various concepts derived from feminist literary theory have been partially surfacing in other contexts in my podcasts up to this point. Feminist theory contains a wide, exhilarating rang of approaches and concerns. Three specific considerations I find most valuable, beyond the clear main issue of equality between the sexes.

First, many feminists concentrate on strategies of action. Although the majority of feminist literary critics also wield grand theories, they prefer to treat these as instruments applied to attain very specific goals. This is a pointed admonition for the art and literary worlds, especially for those of us who hypothesize gladly. Don't take your ideology for the very reality it seeks to describe or change! Stay pragmatic! This reminds me that my interest is and has been in constructing a theory of metaphor in art, yet not an absolute one. Rather, one that grows from an appreciation of the nuts-and-bolts of production, and thereby endeavors to avoid too much abstracted absolutism.

Second, the feminist concept of the located self is one of the great tools of thought in history. This is the elucidation of the fact that gender and the rest of one's personality are largely socially constructed, not solely biological givens. Each person consists of a web of locational connections. Where you were born, who taught you, where you grew up, where you live, who your role-models are, etc. This idea shapes my thought as a whole, and I believe must be considered in contemplating art and metaphor: history and geography and culture.

Third, an appreciation made by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar is an inspirational, vital idea. They assert throughout their historic book The Madwoman in the Attic, that it is imperative for feminists to both partially comply with and yet contravene patriarchal literary standards. And I would expand this to concern all hegemonic standards in all creative fields.

These 3 perceptions, which I find useful and have described are being constructively continued in the third-wave and fourth-wave feminists and many others. As I will discuss in a future podcast on a favorite theorist of mine, Julia Kristeva, taken more broadly such strategies disclose the loophole through which resistance can come into existence. The ways in which we can improve life, society, and create art that assists in that and is of the highest quality. I find this loophole to be the play with tropes, metaphor, especially as seen in my theory of central trope called 'metaphor(m).'

And in the ever-more-oppressive constraints of our propagandized world, even in the artworld, we desperately need loopholes for resistance to enter and arise.

Thanks for listening. Podcast number 31.
3 Useful Feminist Ideas for Art

If you enjoy my podcasts, please go to Apple podcasts and give me 5 stars and a recommendation! It helps others find this podcast. Additionally, if you have any questions or requests for topics, please feel free to contact me with them! I'd truly enjoy covering them!



If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

I take viewers inside visual art and art history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically, I analyze, underline, and discuss the reasons why a work of art is remarkable, or I go through entire eras, or indeed through the entirety of art history, or look at your desired theme through the lens of art history. The lectures often take place with painted background screens and even in my painting-installations.

Some recent ones were on the entire history of Postmodernist Art from 1979 through today, on Artemisia Gentileschi's La Pittura, and on Mongrel Art. Once again, I'd like to thank Chloe Orwell, Brad Elvis, and the rock band the Handcuffs for composing, performing and recording my theme song, "Shut Up and Paint," a tiny portion of which begins and ends every Dr Great Art Podcast.

You can find or contact me at

www.drgreatart.com/ (spell)

book me at www.mirjamhadorn.com (spell)

or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all as Dr Great Art.

19 March 2018

Art History / Kunstgeschichte Overview in Images Alone

This is my popular Dr Great Art's Art History / Kunstgeschichte Overview in images alone, drawn by me. I have made paintings and prints of it as well. This image also includes the "key" to the civilizations/epochs/movements (in German, but the English is very similar).

11 March 2018

"Matthew Goes to an Art Fair," an entry badge comic, by Matthew Collings and Mark Staff Brandl

The is the entry-badges comic (sequential art) object I made with the great London critic, author and artist Matthew Collings. It is on display now in CENTRAL BOOKING Art Space in NYC. This is a vertical version made for ease of scrolling on internet. (and Emma Biggs and I also make quick walk-ons!)
Click on the thumbnail to enlarge and view
It is also viewable here: http://www.markstaffbrandl.com/artfairbadges.html


06 March 2018

Tschernobâle, Swiss Chemical Catastrophe, and Graffiti Response


1986 brennt es auf dem Industriegelände Schweizerhalle. Tonnen von Chemikalien landen im Rhein: eine riesige Umweltkatastrophe. Dafür wird das ökologische Bewusstsein der Bevölkerung gestärkt.


Blutrotes Rheinwasser!

(Graffiti) Künstler-innen haben stark reagiert!

1. November 1986 in Schweizerhalle

Das grosse Feuer in der 1350 Tonnen Chemikalien enthaltenden Lagerhalle, der dicke Rauch, der Gestank und die unbekannte Zusammensetzung der Verbrennungsgase veranlassten die Behörden der Nachbargemeinden (u. a. Basel), die Bevölkerung frühmorgens mit allgemeinem Sirenenalarm zu alarmieren, auch wurde eine mehrstündige Ausgangssperre verhängt. Menschen erlitten keine akuten Schäden, mit Ausnahme von drei Personen mit vorbestehendem Asthma, die Hospitalisierung benötigten. Jedoch verseuchte Löschwasser den Rhein und löste ein grosses Fischsterben aus. Die Giftwelle, insbesondere Pestizide wie Disulfoton, Thiometon, Parathion oder Fenitrothion mit einer Halbwertszeit von 30 bis 50 Tagen, löschte auf einer Länge von 400 km die gesamte Aalpopulation aus.

Plakataktion unmittelbar nach der Katastrophe