Taking a normal situation and retranslating it into overlapping and multiple readings of conditions, past and present […]. Create a situation which does not erupt so much as emerge from normal conditions which are radically altered […]. The artist’s objects and environments draw on a repertoire of daily use and are produced to mimic the shiny perfection of the manufactured. He turns to industrial process to make objects that look as if they are mass-produced. Rehberger is careful not to add anything extraneous to the world, often choosing to amplify – or like the Situationists, détourner – what is there already. […] The potential social and moral virtues of craft, architecture and domestic decoration.
“I’m not afraid of creating an immediate rush because I don’t see a problem if somebody likes or dislikes something for its aesthetic qualities – as long as there are other qualities too. Of course seduction can be a trap, but I like the idea that you don’t have to go into any depth to enjoy something, although if you do, then there’s more to gain. You can appreciate it on different levels. Maybe it’s like a trick to keep people awake, to see if their interest goes beyond the surface of things, while still allowing them not to feel the need to go deeper. If something is very rough or unpleasant it’s very hard not to say: “Ok, that can’t be it! There must be some other qualities in it”. I like the idea that you don’t have to do that. It’s also a matter of not being didactic.”
“Why can’t being positive also be a critical element? There’s a dimension of politics that allows me to be as positive about things as one can be critical. It induces a type of problematic that makes it even more critical – not of the product, but of the general idea of how we, especially in the art world, deal with statements and criticism.” “Every positive quality implies its problematic side. It depends a lot on what perspective you have on things or how you look at them, how you go into them.”
(From: Tobias Rehberger, Private Matters, Whitechapel, Jrp | ringier, 2004. Images: Tobias Rehberger, The sun from above, 2000, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, installation; Self seduction, 2004, Whitechapel, London; other works at Barbel Graesslin.)
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