What do you do when you can no longer reinvent the world, but there is still so much to say and so many questions to ask? Max Schaffer (*1985, lives in Berlin) solves this problem by reinterpreting what already exists. He does this by displacing, dislocating and translating, and not least by continually undermining expectations that he himself has created.
The central focus of his work lies in recording the details and textures of public space, and exploring the institutional realities and laws governing their presentation and reception. His oeuvre is multifaceted, transcending formal categorisation. His project “Power of Style”, specially created for the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, is no exception. Here, he presents an eclectic overall picture made up of multiple strands, comparing and contrasting approaches and focusing on the relationships between work, institution, urban space, reception and interpretation.
“Power of Style’s” various setpieces centre on responses to art and its institutional contexts. They blur categories, and ask questions: What is the exhibition, and what its institutional underpinning? What constitutes original drawing or writing, and what its interpretation or academic analysis? What is a work of art, and what is merchandising? How do we distinguish between audio art and tourist guide? How do we define an exhibition space, an office, or an urban environment? Where does one end and another begin? Through his consistent use of coalescence and displacement, Schaffer asks questions about expectations, mechanisms of perception and the role of the spectator. In “Power of Style” he plays on these questions in manifold ways.
Janneke de Vries
Max Schaffer. Power of Style (exh. cat., ed. J. de Vries, GAK, 2016)
Max Schaffer: Untitled (Blip), 1978-2016
Fri 20.05.16, 7 pm
Thu 26.05.16, 6.30 pm
Guided tour with Marilena Koch
Sat 04.06.16, 18-1 pm
Long Night of the Bremen Museums
Thu 09.06.16, 7 pm
Ruth Noack: Brakes in the current. Thoughts about the difficulty of showing what might need to be shown Lecture
Thu 23.06.16, 7 pm
Max Schaffer: Watch Comparison
Exhibition and film screening
Thu 24.07.16, 7 pm
Max Schaffer and Janneke de Vries: Benching
Thu 28.07.16, 7 pm
Guided tour with Janneke de Vries
Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, The Senator for Culture, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen