Coproduction steirischer herbst & Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien
curated by Sandro Droschl & Christian Egger
To commemorate the upcoming tenth anniversary of Jörg Schlick’s death, and as part of the exploration of this year’s leitmotif, steirischer herbst, which examines the concept of “heritage,” the Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien (KM–) is especially pleased to devote an extensive solo show to the exuberant creativity of one of Styria’s most productive and internationally renowned artists, who was an exemplary author, conceptual artist, musician, painter, short-film director, video and performance artist, ballet choreographer, lodge cofounder, and set designer.
This broad, dimensional retrospective is the first to assemble key samples from all phases of his extensive oeuvre, which involves series and combinations. It also is the first presentation of previously unseen or rarely seen groups of works. The show distinguishes between the artist’s blustering image and the mythologization accompanying it, and the precise visual work produced by the indomitable investigative conceptual artist, while at the same time observing it from the standpoint of current, controversial artistic questions and its artistic developments and manifestations.
Very early on, Schlick saw signs of change coming for the artist’s profession. “In order to survive as a contemporary artist, it’s become normal to have extensive portfolios of knowledge, interests, strategies, and networks; the key qualifications for today’s producers of art include the ability and willingness to take a stance on the background of art history, and the current art scene, as well as an entrepreneurial attitude toward oneself; not to experience career and critique as contradictory, to master and expand upon art’s performative repertoires, to navigate between platforms and projects, and to be willing to frequently act as a platform and project oneself.”1)
Schlick’s intelligent, energetic play with all forms of artistic expression and their inherent potential for appropriation, this clever way of overcoming the original, was always carried out with a markedly creative feel for controversy and the available (multi) media of the times, although it could not be foreseen that his once provocative solution, “Keiner Hilft Keinem" (Nobody Helps Nobody) would devolve into an elementary starting point for the increasingly egotistical self-regard spreading throughout all spheres of society.
In addition to this comprehensive show, more than twenty of Schlick’s former comrades, patrons, and friends will discuss his person, life, and work, and explain his lasting, exceptional status in the five thematic blocks and moderated conversations that are part of the Künstlerhaus’s educational program on Thursdays, „An Art Day's Night.“
A catalogue will be published in conjunction with the show. It will contain the first complete index of the artist’s works, an extensive essay by Diedrich Diederichsen, and a code for downloading original recordings of Schlick’s music, which have been newly sorted and occasionally re-mastered by the painter Albert Oehlen, Schlick’s musical comrade.
1) Tom Holert, introduction to “Gegenwartskunst,” in Übergriffe, Zustände und Zuständigkeiten der Gegenwartskunst, Hamburg: Philo Fine Arts, 2014, p. 14.