Statement MASK_Amarillo (Anti-Mondrian)

The intermedia installation MASK_Amarillo (Anti-Mondrian) is a further variation of the MASK_Series started in 2009.

A post-avant-garde position by no means negates the achievements of the modern avant-gardes. It in fact re-orientates itself anew on the basis of a critical reflection of modern art through to the present.

The once pioneering works of Piet Mondrian, a protagonist of classic-aesthetic modern art, are a typical example of modern reductionism. Following a tradition in old European philosophical thought, Mondrian reduced painting to so-called basic elements: the primary colours yellow, red and blue, plus black and white, arranged vertically and horizontally, were to function as universals. Nowadays, it has long since become evident that the supposed universals are not non-decomposable elements, but rather components with circular reciprocal actions, which themselves display a high degree of complexity. So the conclusion from this is that complexity can only be reduced by complexity. However, when dealing with complexity reduction, the negative consequences of subject-centrically practiced reductionism or essentialism have become clearly obvious, especially in terms of the whole of society.

“Acceleration toward the inevitable, as it was argued earlier, is not only an impotent avowal of the conservative-dissipative ambit of the interiorized horizon, but also a counter-revolutionary trap by virtue of safeguarding the horizon against alternative ways of inflecting upon the universal absolute (alternative modes of openness).” (Reza Negarestani: Globe of Revolution. An Afterthought on Geophilosophical Realism. In: Identities Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, vol. 17/2011, pp 25-54.)

Based on Quentin Meillassoux’s premise of a “absolute contingency”, the consequence for an advanced contemporary art practice would thus be to follow the force of openness. When understood as a method of cutting, this “is not incision and splitting but piercing from multiple points of view, and nesting; it does not amputate, but transplants.” (Negarestani, ibid)

English translation: Ann Robertson

Mondrian Opening exhibition of Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin 1968.