“Third Tableau: How the Lodge would have very gladly traveled to Singapore to misappropriate the holiest of the holies in art: money”

Hardly dead and gone, Martin Kippenberger was transformed from a difficult contemporary artist – who many art institutions and art business functionaries were not quite sure what to do with – into one of the most meaning-saturated and respected, ergo expensive, German artists of the last century.
Contrastingly, the Lodge dropped out of sight, as if it had used itself up in its program of phlegmaticism. Nevertheless, its remaining members, most of all Jörg Schlick, attempted to put the brakes on the slowdown. As it so happened, Jörg Schlick was invited to curate an exhibition at the Graz art festival Steirischer Herbst. Here the Lord Jim Lodge submitted a project in which it would use public funding to set up camp in a Singapore luxury hotel for a week, sitting out a vacation at the expense of the Austrian state while – between seven beers or so – maybe finding time to shoot a couple of photos for the art festival if anyone were interested. [$* Remark: If I‘m not totally wrong, I think the Singapore thing was before documenta. Could somebody check that?] All of this was well within the bounds of typical international art projects, but nonetheless the group was begging for a scandal by choosing the title “Thanks to the Taxpayers of Austria”. The rightwing newspaper Kronen-Zeitung was all too happy to oblige. Its predictable resentment of modern art and its self-proclaimed role as the defender of the “man in the street” seemed tailor-made for the Lord Jim Lodge’s aims. In the end both parties were well served by the affair: kind of like the tacit agreement between good and evil in Hollywood films. This high quality Austrian scandal marked both the zenith and the end of the Lord Jim Lodge’s productive phase.