Badischer Kunstverein presents What Were You Expecting Mr. Milquetoast a Plot

Badischer Kunstverein presents What Were You Expecting, Mr. Milquetoast, a Plot?, a group exhibition, open 24 January–30 March 2014, including works by Vittorio Brodmann, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Sanya Kantarovsky, Liz Magic Laser, and Ola Vasiljeva. The exhibition brings together artists who focus on the place of artistic production and present artworks in a contingent state.

The title is borrowed from The New York Times review of a 2008 staging of Peter Handke’s 1966 play Publikumsbeschimpfung (Offending the Audience). Handke’s aim was to make viewers self-aware by laying bare the mechanism of theatre. What Were You Expecting, Mr. Milquetoast, a Plot? questions the thematic group exhibition. Instead of forcing artworks into a preconceived theme, this exhibition can be seen as a set constructed for both artists and viewers alike.

By stepping into the spotlights as a novice stand-up comedian, Vittorio Brodmann offers the audience the “private, anxiety-fuelled little hell” that also figures in his paintings. Sanya Kantarovsky confronts the viewer with a series of hanging theatrical flats dressed in oversized shirts. These serve as a display system for his paintings, which adorn them like jewellery or a pocket handkerchief. Depicting characters in the middle of something, the paintings do not only make the viewer aware of the artist at work, but also of his/her own role in the production of meaning. Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff present a mix of documentation from their so-called ‘shitty archive’: mostly invaluable paper loaded with personal value from their artistic practice, their personal lives and the two spaces they run in Berlin so far, the bar Times and the recently opened New Theater. Liz Magic Laser’s video installation chase is a re-staging of Bertolt Brecht’s 1926 play Mann ist Mann (Man Equals Man). Performed and filmed in bank vestibules throughout New York City, ATM machines and their users become actors in the play and an audience for it. Ola Vasiljeva will create a new site-specific installation, combining sculptural pieces, found and modified objects, printed matter and poetry. Besides presenting individual works of the four artists and the artist duo, What Were You Expecting, Mr. Milquetoast, a Plot? also brings new and existing collaborations.

Vittorio Brodmann (b. 1987 in Ettingen, Switzerland) lives and works in Vienna.
Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff (b. 1988 in Minneapolis, Minnesota / b. 1987 in Boston, Massachusetts) live and work in Berlin.
Sanya Kantarovsky (b. 1982 in Moscow) lives and works in New York.
Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981 in New York) lives and works in New York.
Ola Vasiljeva (b. 1981 in Ventspils, Latvia) lives and works in Amsterdam.

Badischer Kunstverein
Waldstraße 3
D – 76133 Karlsruhe
Germany
[email protected]

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