Welcome to My Rectangle
how DARE these lazy unemployed unpaid LEECHES of society ask for anything because they don’t even work! And our very OWN community of rent collekkktors, direkkktors, slaveowners, saleslobsters, and cure- hators support such a ludicrous idea by not paying artists ANYTHING other than SPACKLED CRUMBLING CRUDDY specks of insulated speculation from the corrupt unregulated FAKEASS ART TRADING MALL SUPERMARKET for the WEALTHY and a few CRUSTY dol- lars thrown at usually the ALREADY SOLVENT AND RELIABLE MALE SECURITIES ARTISTS as an achievement award. Some of this SOGGY CLAMMY SWEATY GENEROSITY allegedly trickles down to you so you can GO SHOPPING and SPEND those crummy dollars in the larger economy to make more work but HEY! DON’T BUY a bag of groceries just PAY your rent or your STUDIO RENT to the ARCHING INVERTEBRATE MONGOLS OF LANDLOR- DING INC. so you can sleep somewhere and DO YOUR BUSINESS of MAKING and STILL THANKFULLY patriotically support the economy doing an honest day’s work BUT DON’T upset everyone and anyone with the perceived notion of MESSINESS godforbid or NAKED OFFENSIVE BODIES because none of them believe you are doing anything ANYWAY! HOW do THEY KNOW you’re good if no one ELSE tells them you’re GOOD? OH right I forgot THERE’s the HEADLESS HORESEMEN on a TEEVEE show that will decide if you’re a “GOOD” or “BAD” artist or not...but I DIGRESS. So you come home punch drunk after edifying conversation or perhaps a FARE-FAIR and the collaboration is over, the action is paralyzed, diced chopped and parlayedinto a studio where you synthesize your amazing conversations into some product that is perfect for the modeof production and form that fits so well into your belief in the ultimatecrowning moment of your OWN LANDLORDISM and PRIVATIZED SLAVERY that we’re all now seemingly bound to, with NO OTHER OPTION THAN THE WAY THINGS ARE EXACTLY NOW AT THIS SPECIFIC INSIGNIFICANT MOwMENT IN TIME, a slavery that is shaped like this space you’re standing in right now. Over and over the rectangles spread like a virus all over the land and under the crust, you can see them from the sky everywhere an earth covered with nice neat rectangles with things contained inside and the systems controlled into the nicety of neatness and politeness and taste with garbage buried under every square inch and above your head as well, don’t forget.
Ramaya Tegegne’s work addresses the processes by which the field of art is constituted. It focuses on those artistic practices which, from the 1960s on, began to make visible art’s social, economic and cultural determination, in this way problematizing dominant mechanisms within the field. Tegegne frames this issue through an examination of the social preconditions of art’s production, presentation and reception under present conditions. When she cites and appropriates historical artistic material, transposing it into a broader context, she does so in order to open up access to existing material, and in this way to open it up to experience.
In Hamburg, Tegegne shifts her focus to feminist and queer artistic practices, which in the 1980s confronted society with its silence towards patriarchal hegemony and heteronormative regimes. She appropriates Barbara Kruger’s image Your Comfort is My Silence, which straightly attacked the hierarchy of gender roles, as well as the distribution of activity and passivity and thus of speech and silence. Likewise, the graphic design Silence = Death, which the artists’ collective Gran Fury used on posters and illuminated signs, bringing the AIDS crisis into public consciousness. In a similar way, Our Bodies, Ourselves has a place within this exhibition: first released in 1970, it was among the earliest publications to offer instruction on female health and sexuality while taking social relations into account. Tegegne’s reflection on art-historical, sociological and economic contexts cuts to the heart of ideological constructions. Her practice forms part of a critical tradition which resists cooptation and rejects ascriptions of value, undermining categories of authorship, originality and singularity. Even the title of the exhibition enquires into the conditions where art can have the potential to change existing social representations. The phrase Welcome to My Rectangle is taken from a text by Jack Smith, appropriated by A.L. Steiner: it formulates an appeal to overcome the “nice neat rectangles,” and challenge predominant systems of order. Or, Adorno put it, “to resist everything merely posited, that justifies itself with its existence.”