Lebenskünstler

Alexander Koch – Leaving Art – Dark Matter

Posted in Uncategorized by Randall Szott on 06/11/2012

As I mentioned in a previous post, I find Alexander Koch’s work (and Stephen Wright’s) to be absolutely compelling with regard to the art/life divide, so called “dark matter” and the invisible creative practices of escape artists.

Why Would You Give Up Art in Postwar Eastern Europe (And How Would We Know)? – Alexander Koch

For some time now, my work has been circling the question: What if, as an artist, you decide to give up your artistic practice, disappear from the art scene, and leave the field of art altogether? Does this simply mean you have given up, that you have failed? Or would you merely be switching to a new line of work, changing your job? Or could there be, potentially, more to it than this? Could leaving art be, perhaps, a gesture of critique and (artistic) sovereignty? It will, indeed, come as no surprise if we say that today there are far more former artists in the Western world, than there are practicing artists. Given the large number of artists who graduate from our academies and the very few who eventually succeed in a professional career, the »ex-artist« is a very common phenomenon in our social environment – mind you, without being a particularly seductive subject for art critics or art historians.

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2 Responses

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  1. Alexander koch said, on 09/20/2012 at 18:00

    Happy you like my perspective. Did you read the paper i have published last may? It is a more systematic work on the subject: http://www.kow-berlin.info/issues/kow_issue_8
    Best, Alexander Koch

  2. Randall Szott said, on 09/20/2012 at 19:59

    Thanks so much for taking the time to direct me to your recent work. Unfortunately, I am unable to read anything other than the introductory remarks – maybe there is some trick to reading it that I am missing (clicking “print” or “send” doesn’t help)?

    I have had a long time interest in “dropping out of art” – it might even be called a *practice.* I have been writing/reading/speaking around escape/quitting/slacking in a highly unsystematic way via blogs. This post using Kaprow might be of interest (it *almost* resembles something systematic): http://leisurearts.blogspot.com/2006/05/allan-kaprow-refusalun-artist-keith.html

    Thanks again for getting in touch.


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