Elisabeth Lebovici

  • The Name of Philippe Thomas / Philippe Thomas' Name

    The Name of Philippe Thomas / Philippe Thomas' Name

    Elisabeth Lebovici, Valérie Knoll, and Hannes Loichinger

    In the artistic activities of Philippe Thomas (1951–1995), there was a determination to disappear: it was his procedure to transfer his title of author onto his collectors. This was the case when selling an artwork, or whenever the author's credit was needed for a commissioned text, and in the institutional co-operations that Thomas was a participant of. With this strategy Thomas worked against his own historicization, erasing his name from the reigning European and North American art fields and with prescience Thomas “put up obstacles to block his future 'googleability'” (Hanna Magauer). In recent years, the works and writings of the artist, who also acted on behalf of the semi-fictional agency readymades belong to everyone®, again gained greater visibility and as of current are being assigned a place in art history.

    With this book, Elisabeth Lebovici elaborates on Thomas's strategy to cede and fictionalize authorship and suggests a reading of his work that incorporates questions of gender and reproduction, the multiplicity of the subjects involved, and the unbearable disappearance of Thomas (who died of AIDS-related complications), into the process of enunciation. It is Lebovici's suggestion that the performativity of Thomas's work requires two versions at once: “the one where one enters into the fiction and the one where one observes the beauty of the arrangement and the plot at work. The one where one is inside and the one where one contemplates it.”

    Schriftenreihe by Kunsthalle Bern, ed. by Valérie Knoll and Hannes Loichinger

    • Paperback $13.00

Contributor

  • Karol Radziszewski

    Karol Radziszewski

    The Power of Secrets

    Michał Grzegorzek

    Karol Radziszewski's montage of queer archival materials that formulate new ways of understanding history, memory, and legislation in Eastern Europe.

    In 1989, a great political change awaited Poland: with the fall of the Berlin wall and the flourishing of capitalism, the people behind the Iron Curtain would be set free.

    Karol Radziszewski was nine years old, living in Białystok, and, in a graph-paper notebook, he drew pages and pages of princesses in corrective eyewear, dogs with mermaid tails, and mysterious seductresses, whose exceptionally firm bosoms would be, sooner or later, bedecked in arrows shot into a heart or a flame. Karol knows that the secrets of these notebooks were off limits to everyone.

    Today these drawings reemerge as self-portraits of this adult artist: full-fledged works capping off Radziszewski's enormous queer archive. For he himself is a man of many faces: artist, curator, film director, and avid collector, skillfully navigating between the visual and performative arts. But above all, he is the creator of the Queer Archives Institute, a never-ending performance and informal organization grappling with the suppressed, yet surprisingly beautiful queer memory of Central and Eastern Europe.

    The artist's special montage of archival materials--self-made, ready-made, or inspiration for artistic extrapolation--formulates new ways of understanding history, memory, or legislation. He blurs facts with fantasies, cobbling together documentation from scraps of memories. He leaves false trails to suggest alternative paths of remembering.

    The secret performativity of Karol Radziszewski's archive is not merely in its tales of the past, but above all, in the queer potential of the future: its revolutionary nature, its change, and its promise of freedom.

    Contributors

    Michał Grzegorzek, Fanny Hauser, João Laia, Élisabeth Lebovici, Katarzyna Przyłuska-Urbanowicz, Dorota Sajewska, Barbara Steiner, Wojciech Szymański

    • Hardcover $28.00