Claus Carstensen

Borderland, double-vision - art, subjectivity and biography


In this context, ‘private’ is held as if it does not have a publicly shared meaning. This is an illusion. The notion of our ‘self’ is administered from our earliest childhood exchanges. This administered ‘self’ assumes one prominent image: That of the ‘self’ as non-ideological. This fails to notice that the ‘non-ideological’ is itself an ideological construct.
Terry Atkinson


Our present age is one of exile. How can one avoid sinking into the mire of common sense, if not by becoming a stranger to one’s own country, language, sex and identity?
Julia Kristeva


I
When I, as it has happened, have chanced to let on that my latest exhibition goes by the name Side by Side, this is a statement, as far as the possessive pronoun is concerned, that is not accurate.1 It is not - strictly speaking - a solo exhibition, not withstanding the fact that I am of the conviction that exhibitions with up to three participants can, under certain conditions, properly be regarded as such. And even though it is separatist in its point of departure – the stylistic-, generation- and family-related crossover – the exhibition consists of a number of collaborative paintings that I created together with my maternal uncle, Alfred Friis. In my early teenage years, my uncle functioned as a kind of catalyst for my first artistic trials. In response, I dedicated - as a tribute - to my uncle my collection of essays entitled Deterritorialiseret (Deterritorialised), published in 1991.2 His background is abstract expressionism and four years of study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, with Egill Jacobsen, a Danish COBRA painter. He also has a past in the communist party, working with trade unions. The frame around the exhibition is a series of notes made from an all-night discussion we had in August 89, with the relationship between politics and aesthetics as a point of departure.
I had the notes lying around for four years without having any idea what they could be used for. They were too obscure, too private and too obstinate. Nonetheless, they had the effect of being some kind of background projection when we finally went to work on making the paintings, which - when they were finished - looked just like everything that I had had too much of but which, in spite of everything, I just couldn’t jettison and which, therefore, in even my most conceptual and figurative phases, I had been circling around.
An unspoken, but for me fundamental, theme of the exhibition is the idiosyncrasy of the double bind that might have something to do with a kind of lapsarian fall in relation to the informal and abstract expressionism and which, in 89 - in connection with the exhibition Bonde - Carstensen - Frandsen at the Aarhus Kunstmuseum - I accepted as “the Soulages’ affinity”, as the art historian Anders Kold called it.3 To be in the company of non-intended idiosyncrasies.
Perhaps it is just these non-intended idiosyncrasies that have now become willed and turned upside down as a productive way out of the wretchedness with the palette and the form, as a mode of confessional embarrassment, which naturally brings one close to the vulgar. The art historian T J Clark is moving into something of the same area when, in his 1992 essay, “In Defense of Abstract Expressionism”, he writes: “In Abstract Expressionism, and here is the painting’s continuing (maybe intensifying) difficulty for us, a certain construction of the world we call ‘individuality’ is revealed in its true, that is to say contingent, vulgarity. [...] Vulgarity, then (to return to our subject), is the necessary form of that individuality allowed the petty bourgeoisie.”4
It is in the obvious relation of mutual antagonism5 between this ‘constructed individuality’ and the collective, security-seeking, but eventless middle class biography that the vulgar manifests itself.6 And the relation of mutual contradiction can only be wielded - as bound up as one is - by “taking your own biography on your own shoulders”, as devoid of events as it may appear to be.7
In our times, with an ever increasing over-exposure of the sub-cultural, the subversive and the cult-like, the event-less ordinariness evidently appears to be all the more fanatical. I realised this in connection with the poster for my exhibition entitled Membrane in Neuer Aachener Kunstverein in 92, which displayed my pregnant wife standing naked before a number of membrane paintings in my studio.8
What I hadn’t counted on was the violent reaction that the poster unleashed in the places where it was posted. In most instances, the poster was simply torn down. But in the entrance to Galerie Sophia Ungers, where the poster was also hung on the wall, what transpired was a peculiar kind of war. Every morning, the new poster was torn into pieces from a spot somewhere just below the breast with the result that the flap with the pregnant stomach fell forward and covered up the lower part of the body. For a long time, I pondered over this reaction. It wasn’t until my attention was drawn to the fact that the poster looked like a typical Danish poster from the 70s that I could conjoin the rabid reaction with the banal ordinary subject. I had simply been blind to the imprint that the underpants had been left behind and to the changes that the pregnant body was undergoing, as well as to the cellulite and the covering of long pubic hair.
The same (albeit hardly as violent) reaction is what we have encountered in connection with the joint paintings made for Side by Side. This didn’t really come as a surprise to me, since in a number of other collaborative projects in which I have participated, I have experienced the same spurning and defensive kind of belittlement, which I believe is bound up with the fact that the paintings were created by more than one person. Consequently, one ‘is liable’ collectively for them, which means to say that the artistic responsibility is dispersed and, therefore, the individual can, apparently, not be credited for anything.9 Liability and the authentic are vanishing even as diffuse authority is being produced. A situation that can be said to be analogous with the judicial discussion about collective and individual guilt that was unleashed in connection with the many years of trials against the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction).10
With the generation- and palette-related crossover and the two signatures on the painting, a problem of authorisation arose which still constitutes a crucial point of origin for the distribution of art. “It implies a loss of authority”, as the semiotician Robert Nelson formulates in a somewhat different context.11 I just don’t believe that it is the origin in the painting that is being forfeited (“negation of loss of authority”), but rather that, through the collective procedure, what is being established is another form of negation - namely a negation of a general but nonplused consensus.
Two of the tracks on the jazz records we were listening to while we painted the pictures - Coleman Hawkins’ and Clark Terry’s LP Together and Duke Ellington’s and Johnny Hodges’ Side by Side - were entitled, very significantly, “There’s No You” and “A Tune for the Tutor”. In the catalogue for the exhibition, the following statement by Thelonius Monk is quoted: “If you make a mistake, play it loud. Then people will think you did it on purpose.”
The outcome of this field of fortuitousness, productive misunderstanding and negated authorisation was that in the process of painting what emerged was an identical third, a form of third person singular.
The reaction to the joint paintings turned out to be dependent on the readings of the abstract lyrical and international style we had employed: a style that seems to release fronts of intransigent attitudes. This style has - in extension of COBRA, informal and abstract expressionism - paradoxically enough, become the Danish synonym for tasteful, modern art. And I say ‘paradoxically’ because jazz and the abstract pictorial idiom after 1945 consist of, amongst other things, an internationalisation, formulated as a reaction against the strong nationalism indigenous to the period between the wars.
What was so diffuse in the reaction, in my opinion, was due to the fact that we had painted a series of paintings that were neither fish nor fowl. Or to put this another way: insofar as they subscribe to identity as a construction, they also take on a critical affirmation, which is simultaneously critical and naïve, as Marcel Reich-Ranicki has put it (about Fontane): “That he was at once both: critical and naive.… The synthesis of criticality and naïveté is the secret to his… coolness… and superiority.”12
This as counter-position to the affirmative critique, which by virtue of its way of focusing only on the context confirms analysis as a part of a ‘formal tradition’ and thereby adds to conceptual art’s ‘third Generation’ a glint of historicism.13 Conceptual art posited - and it is here that we find its historic merit - with the analysis, the self-reflection and the contextually-related, a dividing line for all art production which would henceforth only be capable of being manufactured and of instrumentalising this dividing line as internalised experience.
I believe that the instinctive complement between affirmation and critique has something to do with the complementary in two such arbitrary and deterritorialised figures as sujet and ‘subject’. And that this ‘syncretism’ of sujet and subject can only be borne aloft by a trust-worthiness.
Mike Kelley has arrived at something of the same conclusion. In his essay, “Missing Time”, he writes: “One thing I didn’t like about Rauschenberg, and Pop Art in general, was that the subject matter was of such little importance. In Rauschenberg’s work I always felt that any other image could be substituted for another and that there was little attention paid to the tension between the various images, the images and the paint handling, or to the possibilities of associational ties between the images. In Rauschenberg, image was equivalent to paint smear.”14
It is, in my opinion, the contrary that is at play in the paintings from Side by Side, even if the sujet is apparently bound up arbitrarily in the paintings as ‘international style’ and abstract daubing. It is first outside of the paintings that the international style conjoins subject and sujet together in the biography as an internalised form: the recourse as the actual subject, with a point of origin in ‘a constructed identity’ which one slowly, in what is a bifurcating process, subjects oneself to.15
With this, the appropriation is accepted as a repetition and a reproduction; as a work with history and subjectivity.16 As junctures in a reconstruction of the relation between art and the private (“the possibilities of associational ties between the images”).17
It operates, it might be said, with the motivation and the reconstruction as it does with the gnarled and insistent drawings, which - in time - accumulate authority because they draw upon and simultaneously affirm the biographical (“affirmation of existence” and “affirmation of will”).18
It is this affirmative tendency that has served as the point of origin for the two trilogies of exhibitions I have made since 92 and which have been dealing largely with the exchange of identities. On the one side, there were the group shows - The Commitments, Strawdogs and RAM - which thematised the elective affinity and generation-overlapping element in this relationship. On the other side, there were the family-related solo and joint exhibitions: Untitled Room for Zoe, Double Indemnity/Clausholm and Side by Side/Colab.19
The elective affinities (which are always dependent on chance and the possible) in the group shows certainly constitutes an attempt to read the biography aloud up against some kind of existing canon, whatever this may be - and, in the final analysis, it also has something to do with passing the baton.
Whereas the point of origin for the two-person exhibition Untitled Room for Zoe was a capsised project from 1980, where I had been absorbed with the sociological and political aspects of visual art: what does it mean to sit in the boondocks and spend your time making art? Or, more specifically: to what extent has the existence of an avant-garde culture, in the border region, been possible side by side a more traditional culture?
Initially, it was my idea to write a proposal for a sociological exhibition in a museum in South Jutland, based on my own family history. But coupling the sociological form with the artistic proved to be impossible. It was first in 92, when my daughter was born, that I envisioned the possibility of transposing the preliminary sketch into a conventional gallery exhibition.
In the exhibition, there were paintings that had been painted by my great grandfather, my maternal grandfather and my maternal uncle, which hung alongside a series of black, monochrome Territory Panels. At the same time, a video was shown, where my maternal grandmother could be seen speaking about her upbringing and about her life in the border region.
The themes in the exhibition formulated themselves as a series of questions that had interested me for quite some time: how and when does genealogy leap over into, respectively, morphology/ideology? Is there anything as enigmatic as morphological/ aesthetic geno- and pheno-types? Socialisation? The epochal forms? Affirmation and dissidence seen in the light of Nolde’s membership in the North Sleswig department of the NSDAP and the following Malverbot?20 What is the ontological level? Is a Brechtian re-functionalisation a possibility, such as we see in Nauman?21
It is these reflections which, similarly, but in a different and most tangible way, have established the foundation for the recent exhibitions of joint paintings with, respectively, my daughter and my uncle, and which have been hinting that all biography can only be read in between the fissures, as intermediate biography against the canon. There’s only one way out of the dilemma. And that way is in.

II
Language and culture, roughly speaking, express themselves in two ways. Either they exist as links within a relation of property and power, which could be designated as ‘cultural hegemony’ using an expression from the 70s, or else they emerge as subjective motivation, with all the presentiments about identity and contradictions implied therein.
That such a subjective motivation within a multi-cultural field like that which is currently thriving is not always unequivocal can be empirically demonstrated by the example of my own family, which stems from long and well-established roots in the ground on either side of the border of Southern Jutland’s frontier district. My cousins, both male and female, have married across the borders with the result that five nationalities are now represented in my family. This condition might best be described through the notion of deterritorialisation.
After spending seven years in Cologne as a Southern Jutlander, carrying the minority problems both north and south of the border as an inherent part of my identity, the boundaries are slowly effaced and the distance vanishes, only to be intensified once again in my work with painting and writing.
When we moved back to Copenhagen, autumn was on its way. Late summer flared up one more time, and a certain nostalgia about moving turned up. All the more so because years earlier, we had a similar move to Cologne in the early part of the fall. At that time - in 1986 - the autumn mood was mingled with my childhood’s almost forgotten pictures of family outings in the gray-brown light of autumn Germany.
Nine years earlier, in 1977, I was on the way home from Paris, where I had lived for half a year. The week after Schleyer’s abduction I arrived in Cologne, and the first thing I saw was a railway station full of machine-gun toting police. A few years later, I read a quotation from Baum, the Minister of the Interior at the time, wherein he asserted that violence perpetrated by the radical right was qualitatively and quantitatively far less than that perpetrated by the radical left.
This quotation somehow remained stuck in my mind and unfortunately, it proved to be true in an inverted and tragic way. The over-reaction to Schleyer’s abduction at that time strikes a profound contrast with today’s political passivity in connection with the series of lethal arson attacks against refugee centres in Germany. For me, then, Deutschland im Herbst has always been a double-edged and simultaneously very concrete metaphor. A combination of childhood’s luminescence, political reality and that everyday run of things which was recently actualised by the election of Hamburg’s senate: frustration, boozing and the “this-table-is-mine!” chauvinism display, with the utmost, lucidity that the right wing radicals’ violence is not generated by the political spectrum’s most extreme right, but that it grows from the centre. Not so strange, then, that in Europe in general, they speak about the hideous German as he is personified in the photograph from the incidents in Rostock, with his pissed-on jogging trousers and a beer in his hand.
In a historical sense, I think that this has to do with the fact that the middle class has long since internalised the ‘anti-form’ of the youth revolt. The negative theory that ought actually to have produced critical subjects has been converted into a boisterous affirmation of the current historical situation.
I’ve always regarded Cologne as a kind of exile and one of the amenities of exile is that it always effects a kind of double vision: an inner and outer perspective. A perspective, which I - principally - was familiar with from childhood, due to the border region’s bilingualism. My linguistic identity, on the other hand, has always been bound up with a third ‘language’, namely Southern Jutlandish, which linguistically speaking, is a parole without langue. And I imagine that what is involved in thinking in such a language does force one into a tactical and delicate perspicacity which puts one in a position to focus on the doublings of reality - as was the case, for example, with German re-unification in 1990, something to which I have always been opposed inasmuch as history is non-reversible. Re-territorialisations can only be carried out symbolically and subjectively, which does constitute a paradox, in a way, insofar as subjectivity (always) is an objective factor, as Rudolf zur Lippe put it in an issue of Enzenberger’s Kursbuch sometime in the middle of the 70s.22
It was out of this point of view that the series of black monochrome paintings, Territory Panels or Territorial Pissings - after the song by the band Nirvana - emerged. This was also the approach to my collection of poems entitled 38 Poems, which I dedicated to my daughter Zoe, who was born in Cologne. The poems had the following four lines by Anna Akhmatova as motto: Russian seems not enough for you/and you want to know in all languages/how steep the rises and falls are/and what is the price of conscience - and terror.
And this perspective similarly structured the exhibition Untitled Room for Zoe, which I presented at Gallery Sophia Ungers in 1994, and again, albeit in an altered version, at Gallery Mikael Andersen in Copenhagen. A search for certain events in the story of my family woven together by a distinctive combination of a passion for art, politics and patriotism. For me, this glance back into family history was an attempt to recapitulate something without becoming immediately ensnared in the booby trap of historical reversibility.
It is perhaps within the realm of art that a German influence makes its most noticeable appearance. My generation of artists would be inconceivable without the younger generation of German painters who made their breakthrough at the beginning of the 80s and who thematised so precisely the problem of modern German identity in the light of growing multi-nationalism. In this respect, a typical example is one of Kippenberger’s paintings from 1984, entitled Ich kann beim besten Willen kein Hakenkreuz entdecken. It is a clumsily painted picture of fallen beams, executed in Cubistic style, that with only the aid of the ironic and conversely stigmatising title evokes memories of a swastika.
This conversely stigmatising is perhaps one of the most symptomatic aspects of the German situation today, where a heavily historical, delimited, vertical culture like the German, in much the same manner as the Danish, falls under the heavy influence of a horizontal and limitless American unity - and popular culture - which always disseminates itself more rapidly by virtue of its synchronism. What is queer and paradoxical in this connection is that this deterritorialisation is countered with a nationalism that is both anachronistic and incapable of apprehending its own dependence upon American popular culture.
This is what the painting of the 80s was reacting against - with irony as an instrument. In the 90s, however, “the line it is drawn, the curse it is cast”. The Schein/Sein dialectics of irony have merged with the social effects of reality. Or to put it another way, with a quotation by Albert Drach: “Cynicism is an implementation of irony.”
The state of affairs in Denmark is, perhaps, somewhat different. The Danish historical situation concerning nationalism is something else, while at the same time, the parameters that delimit art practices during these years are prescribed by a very narrow German-American dialogue, over which Danish advances have no influence. Which once again results in most of what is revered at home being variations on German and/or American discourses. We thus obtain imports rather than produce exports, resulting in a concomitant internationalism, at best. Instead, I believe that we should employ whatever is right in front of us - that which is immediately adjacent, banal obsequious or silly. A body that is all at once biographical and historical.
Thus, the territories can also better be pissed out.


Notes

1. Side by Side - Paintings created jointly by Claus Carstensen and Alfred Friis, presented at Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen, September 18-21 October, 1995. A similar exhibition, with paintings made in common and individually created, was presented at Galerie Møller Witt in Sønderborg, 23 September– 26 October, 1995, under the title Colab.
2. Tribute from the Latin tribus, and the English tribe. On the subject of increasing tribalisation, see: Diederichsen, Diedrich, Wie aus Bewegungen Kulturen werden und aus Kulturen Communities und warum man uns das andrehen will (unpublished manuscript presented as an introduction to the Royal
Danish Art Academy’s symposium on Difference, Identity and Democracy, April 21, 1994); Diederichsen, Diedrich, “Tribes and Communist Parties - Ziellosigkeit, Reversibilität, Gedankennot”, Freiheit macht arm, Cologne: Kiepenheuer und Witsch, 1993; “Vergesst alle Systeme”, Der Spiegel, 33/1995.
3. Pierre Soulages, French abstract-informal painter.
4. T J Clark, “Zur Verteidigung des Abstrakten Expressionismus”, Texte zur Kunst, no. 7, October 1992.
5. A current attempt to evade the vulgar in this mutual antagonism consists in transcending the antithesis in the form of a descriptive or ideology-critical context analysis, like what can be gleaned from Fareed Armaly’s visualised analysis of Fassbinder’s television series Acht Stunden sind kein Tag and the light program Wünsch dir was, from the 1970s. More recently, it could also be spotted in Rirkrit Tiravanija’s ‘lyrical’ analysis of the three Swedish clichés - urban plan, kindergarten and Ikea - in his contribution to Lars Nittve’s farewell exhibition at Rooseum in Malmø entitled Nutopi. The heart of the matter, however, is that the very notion of analysis being some object hovering freely above the analysed or the notion of any ‘poetic’ ideological critique are in themselves ideological and just as constructed as is individuality.
6. Something that in the 1980s, symptomatically enough, entailed a widespread use of ‘middle names’ that had gone out of use some time previously and were supposed to individualise the typical, Danish “-sen” [meaning son] surnames. In his essay, “En dans på Gloser”, Danish Poet Søren Ulrik
Thomsen makes a similar observation and conclusion in KRITIK 116, 1995.
7. A condition that has found an entirely headstrong expression in Terry Atkinson’s series of paintings entitled Happy Snaps, Peter Carlsen’s work with the character named Villy and Christian Schmidt Rasmussen’s introverted and spacey depictions of growing up in the welfare state of Denmark. These strategies are to my mind much more demanding and committing than psychoanalysis or the official ‘Nordic’ discourse.
8. I got the idea for the poster from an invitation card for Brice Marden’s Back Series exhibition at the Bykert Gallery, from 1968, which shows a nude and almost anorexic Helen Marden, with her back turned to us, standing in front of the paintings in their studio.
9. Over the course of many years I have painted a number of collaborative paintings with my daughter and others: Peter Carlsen (under the name Hurtigt Udført Arbejde I/S [Quickly Executed Work, Inc.]), Zoe Carstensen, Inge Ellegård and Berit Jensen, Erik A Frandsen and Peter Bonde (under the name In And Out The Flat). In 1983, I painted together with the Bonde, The Metaphysical Series, which provided an occasion for a heated discussion about affability and simulation - and which later on, for the very same reasons, was acquired by Aarhus Kunstmuseum.
10. A discussion which, with a sympathetic understanding and a radically subjective point of view, has been delineated by Ulrike Meinhof’s daughters in the article “Unsere Mutter - ‘Staatsfeind Nr. 1’ (Bettina and Regine Röhl: Unsere Mutter - ‘Staatsfeind Nr. 1’”, Der Spiegel 29/1995.
11. Robert Nelson, “The End of Drawing”, Agenda - Contemporary Art Magazine 26 and 27, 1992-1993.
12. Marcel Reich-Ranicki in an open letter to Günter Grass in Der Spiegel 34/1995.
13. For a self-critical analysis of the economy, the distribution and the addressee-relation in more recent context art, see: Stefan Germer, “Unter Geiern - Kontext-Kunst im Kontext”, Texte zur Kunst, No. 19, August 1995.
14. Mike Kelley, Missing Time - Works on Paper 1974-1976 Reconsidered, Hannover: Kestner Gesellschaft, 1995.
15. Subject and sujet from the Latin subjectum - to be put through an experience.
16. A possible parallel to this might be Gilles Deleuze’s Différence et répétition. For a hipster’s go at (remix and sampling) the same material, see: Wolfgang Höbel, “Auf Adornos Basslinie”, Der Spiegel 35/1995, which is actually a review of Ulf Poschardt’s DJ-Culture, Hamburg: Verlag Rogner & Bernhard bei
Zweitausendeins, 1995.
17. About these junctures Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge write, in Massverhältnisse des Politischen: Hegel speaks of “nodal [knotted] lines of relations of measure”. “They signify critical states in which the peaceful proximity of things and their relations come into vital [lebendige] movement. The concept appears in Logic, in the section describing the transition from the logic of Being to the logic of Essence. No direct transition exists, Hegel says, from the multiplicity of phenomena to either their essence or their concept. Once phenomena take on a determinate constellation - in which they lose their prior form of existence and come into contact with other existents - self-contained relations intensify and become singular articulations, constituting an essential relation. This inner articulation is identical with measure. Phenomena can only attain to that which is essential through relations of measure. Consequently, multiple lines of such relations of measure touch upon the confrontation of self and other in the instant of transition and overturning; the crisis of bare proximity-become-contradiction becomes resolved in movement. Hegel names this the “pulsation of the living being”.** These are ‘nodal lines’ of relations of measure, the absolute opposite of what Aristotle called “mean” and “measure”. Resembling nothing of a balanced, poetic mean, they are rather expressions of extremity, the coalescence of measure-filled relations and the engendering of intensive, frictional surfaces.” See Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge, Massverhältnisse des Politischen - 15 Vorschläge zum Unterscheidungsvermögen, Michael Eng, trans., Frankfurt Am Main: S Fischer Verlag, 1992. Translator’s note: * “Knotenlinien der Massenverhaeltnisse”. This phrase has been translated by A V Miller as “Nodal Lines of Measure-Relations” in Hegel’s Science of Logic, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1969. As Michael Inwood notes, “Hegel focuses on cases where qualitative changes, like knots on a piece of string, occur only intermittently in the course of continuous quantitative change: Water, heated sufficiently, becomes steam, and, cooled sufficiently, ice; its undergoing some such qualitative change is essential if we are to measure its temperature.” A Hegel Dictionary, Oxford: Blackwell, 1992, p. 241. **Negt and Kluge use the phrase, “Pulsation des Lebendigen”. A V Miller translates this concept as an “urge”.
18. In the aforementioned essay, Robert Nelson carried out an outstanding etymological analysis of the word drawing in relation to its Greek and Latin roots (trahere, Latin - to pull (a line), especially contained in the word tract; or the somewhat more international disegno from signum, Latin - sign (which, amongst other things ushers in the difference in words like designate, signature or design -
“drawing is all about decisions. ... the investment of will in definition...”) - and grafi, Greek - to scratch; the life-geography’s delineation or engraving in the biography).
19. The Commitments, Galleri Specta, Århus, 1992; Strawdogs, Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen, 1993; RAM, Portalen, Hundige, 1995; Untitled Room for Zoe, Galerie Sophia Ungers, Cologne, 1992 and Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen, 1993; Double Indemnity, Hole, Copenhagen, 1994 (together with Zoe Carstensen); Clausholm Castle, Hadsten 1995 (including joint works with Zoe Carstensen).
20. As stated surely he (Nolde) joined, the Nationalsozialistische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Nordschleswig (NSAN) on 15 September 1934, getting the member number 1722. In the summer of 1935, the NSAN merged with another Nazi group, becoming NSDAPN. Thus, Nolde could remain a member of NSDAPN (Nordschleswig), while the NSDAP in Germany prosecuted his art as ‘entartet’ - Monika Hecker, Nolde ein Nazi? - Unsinn, in: Schleswig-Holstein-Journal Sonnabend, 16 December 1995.
21. In addition, two quotations from, respectively, Robert Longo and Terry Atkinson: “I define myself by things that are outside me...” and “The idea of (drawing) skill as a neutral, non-ideological, technical resource is itself an ideological position.” Other reflections in connection with the exhibition refer to semantic and formal vertical/horizontality. Remembrance, time and gravitation. The German Fallstudien, in the double meaning of the word, both case study and “fall” study. The Fall as construction principle (cf. Johs V Jensen’s Kongens fald [The Fall of the King]). The non-objective in the work of Malevich - not apprehended as objectless, but as radical subjectivity (the cover image of the catalogue for Untitled Room for Zoe was, for example, a black-and-white photograph of my maternal grandfather and uncle standing in Schackenborg’s snow-covered castle park).
22. Rudolf zur Lippe, Subjektivitet - en objektiv faktor [Subjectivity - an objective factor], Birger Steen Nielsen and Elo Nielsen eds., Socialisationsforskning - senkapitalisme og subjektivitet [Socialisation Research - Late Capitalism and Subjectivity], Copenhagen: Borgen, 1978.



Frederiksberg 18 August– 30 December, 1995 (first part) Cologne 19 September 1993 (second part which, in a slightly altered rendition - in the form of an exchange of letters with Marcel Beyer - appeared Nummer - Kunst, Literatur, Theorie: Frühjahr, 1994)

Previously published in Kritik no. 121, 1996.
Translated by Dan A Marmorstein