“Eleventh Tableau: How monochrom copy-pasted a growing market into the visual arts and watched it grow”

monochrom has arranged an exhibition dealing with the Lodge takeover to be held at the Galerie Bleich-Rossi opening on 15 May 2007. The exhibition title is indebted to the internal email tapeworm-like Re lines: “Re:AW: [Wir] Fwd: Lodge etc / OTS-Auss.f.Ubernahme; oel / businessplan // WICHTIG; wer?”. monochrom is operating under the confident assumption that “the good ole forms of presentation are a bit more important than most people care to think.” That is not to say: much more important! Thus the group has selected the aesthetic form of a 12-part cycle of oil paintings. Art has always been the “Central Kingdom” – regardless whether it is classical or modern. And the Lord Jim Lodge has got to wade right in: into the scene, into the lawyer’s waiting room, into the posh villas, that means into the present, down their throats, into Austria’s innermost reaches, that shitty...
And what else is a “Central Kingdom”? Right – nothing less than: China! That opaque growth rowdy on the left edge of the world, where transformation is the country’s middle name, where the ancient human dream of producing Van Gogh sunflowers in factories is being fulfilled while-u-wait. (It’s a pixel thing you wouldn’t understand…) Where since time immemorial copying has been a respected art, be it of visual media, audio media or brand-name watches. Or shoes. Or perfume. Or medications for Africa.
China – where sublime calligraphy is rubbed in the nose of Western subject autobiography. Where temples are not built to honor intentions, but signs. Where the medium is the measure of all things. Semiotic polytheism instead of author monotheism! Etc. – Everybody’s onto it.
Since monochrom member Franz Ablinger was in the region anyway in the autumn of 2006, his colleagues sent him to that city known from the media, where only painters live and paint. A whole city humming like an assembly line: if only Leni Riefenstahl could have seen that. The work of art in the age of technical controllability. A sort of 24-hour-drive-through-art-paradise. All you can counterfeit. Where quite passably copied Monets drop into your waiting hands. This is where Guo Cun Can lives and paints, one of the innumerable. Franz Ablinger looked him up, and soon an agreement had been reached. He became an official monochrom satellite whereby he couldn’t care less who or what monochrom is. And monochrom is totally impressed by that. He doesn’t have internet access anyway. Nevertheless, the Photoshop masters arrive on time and are flung onto canvas in record time.
Guo Cun Can asks no questions, also not why he should paint himself and apply the Corbis watermark over his own image. That is none of his business. His business is painting, and he who pays gets what he is paying for. Guo Cun Can’s stoic indifference to Western art insanity is an impressive example of the human capacity to absorb. Thus he is the only 21st-century artist that deserves to be taken seriously. And China is the outer space of the 21st century anyway. It is a pity that everything is going to sink into a global eco-catastrophe: it would be exciting to see how China would actually set up its dominion over the world, which would hit in the 22nd century at the latest.
The Chinese partner enterprise Guo Cun Can has performed impressively in his on-time delivery of his fully expressionless renderings in oil of the Photoshop fantasies that monochrom carelessly threw together using the deficient materials that it had. He will even get a cut of the sales, and thus monochrom will live up to its reputation for being fucking good guys, happy that theirs is a name of which one will have to take note.
Press release:

“In May 2006 monochrom had already succeeded in landing the first returns from the partial transfer of the logo to the American soft drink manufacturer The Coca Cola Company. From these funds it was possible to enter into takeover negotiations with additional art and cultural organizations, thus furthering the group’s vision of working toward an economic restructuring of the so-called Austrian “art scene”. The results will be officially announced shortly.
In celebration of their exceptional art-market performance, monochrom and Art Consulting Teyssandier-Springer - in cooperation with the partner firms Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Austroarts Consulting, MuseumsQuartier Wien, The Coca Cola Company, Landesbund Kunst & Kultur Kärnten, Ströck Art Center and Künstlerbedarf Hirmke, Hrabalekgasse 9a – invite you to take a painted look back at the business year 2006/2007.”

As a special item in the exhibition, 100 cola bottles with Sun Breasts Hammer applications will be offered according to the following price scheme:

5 x 20 EUR
25 x 499.99 EUR
65 x 2,500 EUR
5 x 10,000 EUR