Art for Cockroaches

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Open for visitors since January 16th 2003.
Currently no exhibitions.
monochrom invites artists to design a gallery-space for cockroaches. Each design is exhibited for a month and then replaced. The audience -- consisting of 40 individuals -- are fed fresh fruit daily (preferably apples or bananas) and are cared for. You can come and visit the audience, every Thursday, when monochrom has its weekly meeting at Museumsquartier/Vienna. monochrom guarantees the well-being of visitors.

“I think it’s about time to herald the era of a new awareness in the
human-cockroach-relationship.” (Don Pollock)

Currently no exhibition.

Live coverage from inside the gallery (a new picture every 3 minutes). We would like to remind you again that the nature of the audience is such that they prefer to be in the dark. Therefore it is rather likely that the audience will refrain from showing themseves to the cameras during daytime and prefer to rest behind the pieces of art.
Currently no live stream.

The gallery visitors/art critics:

In the introduction to his book "The Cockroach Vol.1" P.B.Cornwell's opening sentence is: "The Cockroach is probably the most obnoxious insect known to man." This is obviously the statement of a man who has spent too much time studying those few species of Blattodea which have so much in common with mankind that they have chosen to live with us. There are nearly 4,000 species of Cockroaches (Dictyoptera, Blattodea) in the world, of which only 25 to 30 (or less than 1%) have any pest status, the rest are innocent members of the Earth's fauna, some of which are clean living, non-aggressive and slow moving, and as such make great pets. The largest known Cockroaches in the world are (largest wingspan up to 18 cm) Megaloblatta longipennis, largest body, Macropanesthia rhinocerus from Australia weighing in at up to 50 grams. The smallest known is Attaphilla fungicola which lives in the nests of Leaf Cutter ants of the genus Atta in North America and feeds on the fungus they farm, it is about 4 mm long. Cockroaches have been on the Earth for at least 250 million years and it is possible that in the late carboniferous cockroaches out numbered (in terms of number of individuals) all other flying insects. Most Cockroaches are tropical in habitat and Britain has only 3 native species, which is less than the number of introduced species. Many Cockroaches are diurnal, though most are nocturnal. Many are forest floor species though some are cave dwellers, some are semi-aquatic, some burrowing, some wood boring, and some even make their homes in the nests of social insects (Attaphila fungicola in the nests of various Attine ants).
Cockroaches are related to Termites (Isoptera) which some authorities believe arose 70 to 50 million years ago as an offshoot (or possibly 2 offshoots) of the Cockroach lineage of the time. Two pieces of evidence supporting this are:- 1) the fact that Termites are Eusocial insects and some species of Cockroach are primitively subsocial, and 2) the gut microflora of the primitive wood eating Cockroaches (such as Cryptocercus punctulatus) are very similar to that of the Termites. Modern Cockroaches are more similar to their ancient fossil ancestors than any other extant (still living) insect.


Exhibition #20: Not scheduled yet.


Exhibition #19 was running from November 19th through December 22nd, 2004: Bots'n Roaches // Moulinex robots mix cockroach cocktails? Daniel Eberharter's (AUT) setting is dealing with drinks, animals parts, rum and Futurama.

Exhibition #18 was running from June 26th through July 29nd, 2004: Tommy Schmidt (FRG): “Commodity Shortage: Mobility”
Exhibition #17 was running from June 9th through June 26th, 2004: Oliver Hangl (AUT): “Cockroach Bluebox” // About the artist: Oliver Hangl, born 1968 in Grieskirchen, Austria. Studies: theatre-theory, Italian at University Vienna. Currently lives and works in Vienna.
Exhibition #16 was running from April 22nd through June 9th, 2004: Letizia Werth (AUT): “Crater” // About the artist: born 1974 in Bozen, Italy, the artist explores themes such as: memory, space, everyday life. // About the work: dust is the materialisation of time, it is volatile and yet manifest. Dust is disgusting and everywhere. Dust is non-material – we don’t use it, we dispose of it. Dust is like cockroaches.
Exhibition #15 was running from March 18th through April 21st 2004:
Doris Kittler (AUT): "Abatement of the Siberian cockroach-phobia"
About the artist: The Viennese filmmaker, stage and costume designer (born 1969) seizes her chance to abate a cockroach-phobia she caught during a 2-years’-stay in Siberia.

Exhibition #14 was running from February 22nd 2004 through March 17th 2004:
Magnus Wurzer (AUT): "T/V Texte"

Exhibition #13 was running from January 14th 2004 through February 21st 2004:
Aki and Franziska Beckmann (AUT): "Beautyfying surroundigs for - objetively spoken - ugly animals"

Exhibition #12 was running from December 11th 2003 through January 14th 2004:
Ubermorgen (Int.): "(f)originals" // The Ubermorgen corporation is registered in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Bulgaria. It describes 'media-hacking' as its remit, and propagates its messages by means of chic marketing. The displayed ojects are part of the large-scale "(f)originals" concept and show pixels the form of e-commerce shopping-baskets in three greyscales and black of the so-called "webcolors". [text info]

Exhibition #11 was running from November 10th through December 11th 2003:
Markus Hofbauer (AUT): Cocktail Robots on Mars // About the artist : Markus Hofbauer, born in 1980, studying botany at the university of Vienna, amateur photographer, musician (?) and many more; did wear dreadlocks and a turban once.

Exhibition #10 was running October 23rd through November 10th 2003:
Gold Extra (AUT): "The errant because otherwise constantly resting regiment of comedic Punchiorettes of Zecantros" presents “Freedom Or Liver Loaf” // About the work: What may art for cockroaches mean? Do you really have to confront the roaches with themselves? With their blattopterian sociopathies? We like to conceive of art as a means of social intervention: the roaches are confronted with the radical option of eating or going free. A cockroach-gallery solid as a liver-loaf. You can either eat it and savour the moldy serendipity of the golden cage in which you choose to stay, or you can abdicate and escape into the wild freedom of the Electric Avenue.

Exhibition #9 was running September 18th through October 23rd 2003:
Johannes Ullmaier (GER): Aloha from Bagdad // About the artist: Johannes Ullmaier, born in 1968, teaches at the university of Mainz, co-editor of Testcard magazine. // About the work: With one single tank the depredation of the Iraqi National Museum might have been prevented. But the occupying forces had better things to do. Accordingly, an outcry brayed through the European cultural press, where collectors without scruples ­ supposedly American ­ were suspected to be the instigators of the crime. Though a majority of
the missing pieces reappeared some weeks afterwards, 45 pieces still remain unfound, in 19 cases, our worst suspicions have come true. Art lovers from South America were the ones manipulating the theft. And now ­ after enough oil had been poured on the troubled water ­ they present their booty to the world.
“Of course, such a show of looted treasures is problematic”, the curator Johannes Ullmaier admitted, “not only with regard to ethics, because of the pilfering, but also aesthetically, insofar as the collector’s passion, generally discreetly hidden, is a vivid part of this piece of art ­ in the iconisation, scuttling, and even nibbling of one’s possessions, which isn’t especially palatable.
So I gave way to the cockroaches’ wish of exhibiting their booty in
spite of all my reservations: not because I couldn’t think
of anything else to do, but because, in my opinion, art must have the
right to be controversial to have an impact. Plus, where else could we
behold these former treasures? It’s either here and like this or not at
all. I prefer here and like this.”

Exhibition #8 was running August 14th through September 18th 2003:
Die Schwestern Brüll (The Roar Sisters) (AUT): „Summer Residence, All- inclusive Club, A Summer Academy of Revolution for Young Feminist Cockroaches“ // About the artist: The Roar Sisters fight on many fronts as scientists, DJs, theoreticians, glamour girls, singer-songwriters, fashion designers, radiopersons, lovers, painters. Always passionate, always Roar.

Exhibition #7 was running July 17th through August 14th 2003:
Richard Wientzek (GER): “Panorama Delight” // About the artist: Richard Wientzek, born in 1970 in Breitengüssbach,
Bavaria, visual artist, singer and designer. Various exhibitions and
performances. // About the work: “When I was a teenager I earned some money by painting ski-maps, now I’ve got enough money to paint panoramas for cockroaches. They’ll even get toy-trains ‘cause fun is only fair.”

Exhibition #6 was running June 12th through July 17th 2003:
"niij°" (INT): "nitendo apocalyps" // About the artists: The operating group is currently under construction, because it is (in)determined by immigration and migration. Michael Zeltner may be called its core. The group is concerned with all media, the modern as well as the well-known school. // About the work: “The installation with the inconceivability of innate Super Mario nightmare/dream-worlds, which we (barbarously) force onto cockroaches here.

Exhibition #5 was running May 15th through June 12th 2003:
Karin Frank (AUT): “opterra” (installation; wood, fimo and textile) // About the artist: Karin Frank, born in 1972, freelance artist. “Karin Frank's theme is mainly people relating emotionally to others and to him/herself in a complicated way.” (Götz Bury, IG Bildende Kunst).

Exhibition #4 was running April 17th through May 15th 2003:
Minou Modarressy-Mahboobi (IRAN): “Run to Me” (Installation on love and lust or reproduction and relationship chaos) // About the artist: Minou Modaressy-Mahboobi, born in 1970 as the multicultural product of a Persian-Austrian love. Passionate artist on various levels; architecture, painting, sculpturing, ceramics, textiles, poetry.

Exhibition #3 was running March 13th through April 17th 2003:
Günther Friesinger (EU): “It’s always the real thing ­ homage to the 0.5 liter-can” (Acrylic and PU-foam on hard mansonite, installation of 0.5 liter-cans) // About the artist: “To describe Günther Friesinger, born in 1973, isn’t easy. But there’s one thing you may say, he seems to be rather on the go. Soon as you think you know him, he is just about to surprise you with totally different aspects, working as an artist, composer, media theoretician, philosopher and radioperson.” (Karin Cerato, Ponty)

Exhibition #2 was running February 17th through March 13th 2003:
Bettina Tunakan (AUT): “The future is more extreme than you think” // About the artist: Bettina Tunakan, born in 1967, is a stylist, amateur graphic artist (analogue), painter (naïve). Running the art/fashion- project B.f.g.A. (bureau for non-violent anarchism). Dogperson, vegan.

Exhibition #1 was running January 16th through February 17th 2003:
Andreas Stoiber (GER): “Dream with coloured glass-cones” (wax crayon on paper; 42 x 29,7 cm, presented in spatial environment of computer circuit boards, MFM-harddisks, printer cables and a disc.) // About the artist: Andreas Stoiber, born in 1981), autodidact artist and musician, is studying at the electro-acostic institute in Vienna.

Press coverage:

Web-Standard Austria, January 20th 2003
Pressetext Austria, January 20th 2003
Kronen Zeitung, January 22nd 2003
(in this article the roaches are a fantastic "10 centimeters" big)
Profil Magazine, January 27th 2003
Euro<26 Magazine, Spring 2003
"Checkit" on ATV, May 20th 2003, 20:45
ORF FM4 Radio, August 28th 2003
Pyrate Press, September 2003
Boing Boing, November 8th 2003
ORF Ö1 Radio "Leporello", January 23rd 2004 (MP3)
Falter Issue 24/04 (Zoo), June 16th 2004

Your Blattoptera Team.


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