They are sticky, perhaps you can say magnetic : On collections and other connections in the dichotomy of community-society.

Jette Gejl (DK), Michelle Atherton (UK) & TC McCormack (UK)

Jette Gejl, Michelle Atherton and TC McCormack in the open house dorftV studio conversation.

We live in volatile times; the social order shows its disorder, the traditional categories of knowledge and concepts of history no longer stick. In search of new beginnings, we hoped for the promise of new models of union, social arrangements that appeal to our ideals, aspirations, and worldviews.

This exhibition is conceived as an excavation site, a staging to re-evaluate public and private collections in whatever form – animal, mineral, technological, mythological or even not. Part of the artistic goal is to find those places where future possibilities might be captured in the present by sifting through and framing objects, processes, and actions from the past. Societal formulations and their constraints are used and abused to reorder physical materials and reformulate critical contexts.

Jette Gejl (DK) presents an exploration that maps the totality of the color beige, which is continued on site. Methods include testamonial, textual and material analysis, as well as a cooking school and performative lectures. By searching for the ultimate beige, Gejl seeks to find a finer and more original tone of beige through democratic processes, as opposed to the international definition: RAL 1001 (RAL is the best known and most widely used color matching system in Europe, defining colors for painting, coverings, and plastics).

Michelle Atherton (UK) focuses attention on the irrational, addressing those actions, mindsets and behaviors that may seem illogical when compared to more reasonable alternatives. In RIG’s, the Repository of Irrational Gesture’s in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, she assembles an array of irrational gestures from myths, insect sounds, film stills, neo-feudal structures, avant-garde references, magical movement, song lyrics, and other global outpourings. This irrational inventory is a collective enterprise that gathers contributions from artists, academics, and an entomologist. Thus begins the irrational collection.

TC McCormack (UK) considers how our man-made structures exist in and out of time, and how the course of history continually reevaluates our notion of value and even collections. In his time-based installations, sequential formulations allow various scenes to move between and across a monitor-based assemblage and a large projection. This in turn triggers a dialogue with a large print and accompanying text. These works offer unfolding acts of condemnation. By resisting any temporal trajectory, they seem to move in and out of time.

  1. In 1887, sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies identified two analytical concepts in the distinct forms of opposing social organizations, society (of lost innocence, organic, mutual) and community (more modern, atomized, individualistic). These historical frames represent a fateful transition as well as a generative measure.

Works by the artists:

Jette Gejl Beige Obsessions – The Beige Collection, Therapeutic Station, Workshop: Finding the ultimate beige color. 2018

Michelle Atherton Repository of Irrational Gestures (RIGs) – Videoloop 11 Min., 2018

Pathetische Skulptur – Digitaldruck 235x 100 cm, 2018

TC McCormack Der Pazifik hat kein Gedächtnis – Video-Diptychon mit weicher Skulptur 2018

all our ships are at sea – C-Print auf Leuchtkasten mit einem begleitenden Text 2018

Opening: Thursday, June 28, 2018, 7.30 p.m.

from 20.00: Finding Ultimate Beige

Duration of the exhibition: June 29-July 31, 2018, opening hours: Tue- Fri, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday 29 June _ Live at KunstRaum

A 13-hour event hosted by the artist’s Jette Gejl, TC McCormack & Michelle Atherton.

Program includes:

12.00 Lunch with invited guests & public.

13.00 Welcome by artists

13.30 Discussion on KunstRaum’s Intangible Collection read through the frames of Gemeinschaft – Gesellschaft with invited guests & open public.

Beige Break

15.00 1st Intro & film screening: Roy Andersson A Pigeon Sat on Branch Reflecting on Existence 2014

17.00 Musical Interlude with Beige Cocktails

17.30 Performance with Beige food

19.00 2nd Intro & Film screening: Powell and Pressburger A Canterbury Tale 1944

21.30 Finale They are sticky: including participants offer suggestions towards the Intangible Collection e.g. film clips, songs, processes, sayings etc., etc.

22.00 Progressive Magnetisms – with Drinks

This event is part of the exhibition:

They are sticky, perhaps you can say magnetic: Über Sammlungen und andere Verbindungen in der Dichotomie der Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft1 (on collections and other connections in the Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft dichotomy).


“Influenced by several genres and spanning centuries, my artistic engagement has been a long one. Beginning with landscape painting in the 1880s, through stripe painting in 1960s USA and Design Sculpture, which I subvert with anti-modernist references to readymade and appropriation traditions, to textile art using the femi-communist pattern and embellishment movement, to the genre of body art with an extended crossover with the strange psychotherapy sessions of Lygia Clark. Also part of my processes are collaborations with colleagues, with the audience, or particular expertise.

Cultural heritage is my source material. The starting point is often my own history and time, having grown up as a privileged white feminist in agrarian Denmark in the 1960s to 70s. With a consistent absurdist hypersensitivity to detail, I recount experiences gained. Experiences and memories that I myself and my participants in the projects have gone through to determine a different approach to storytelling, as a counter-pressure against the usual stage of our art and cultural history. Every culture needs time to construct the heritage it needs, defined by current social needs and demands. Traces will inevitably be left behind in this process, providing a direction for the future to connect the past, present and future. Despite decades of technological developments and an individualized specialization of the individual citizen in society, we are now faced with a narrative of our time, both deficient and undifferentiated. With my art I want to reshape the structures of cultural heritage as well as its inscription. Instead, I want to create new contexts and a visual-aesthetic synthesis of the narrative of our time. The narrative of the white woman’s burden!!!

With the works ‘Obsessions’ I undertake a total mapping of the color beige, zooming in on the color beige with an inaudible amount of detail of all the aesthetic and socio-cultural systems in which this color is inscribed.

With the project ‘In Search of the Ultimate Beige’ I try to find, through democratic processes, a finer and more original tone of beige, as opposed to the international definition: RAL 1001; the audience offers a very personal view of this color in a painting workshop. After each personal color of beige is found, the audience votes on the most appropriate. At the end of each exhibition, the audience vote on the color beige is summarized and translated into a tapestry that is colored in exactly those 10 shades with the most votes.

In the ‘Beige Therapy’ session, I put participants in a beige meditative, trance-like state while various beige objects act on them to focus on the right shade of beige for each individual.

With ‘Beige Collection’ I collect beige objects with the help of the people in front of Art and through advertising. With the owners of the objects I conduct interviews about their relationship with the object and with the color beige. The interviews are recorded and edited to create podcast, video and text that are exhibited along with the object.

In the ‘Beige Art School’, the audience paints still lifes to open their own sensory perception with idiosyncratic translations of impressions of the color beige from the many objects on display. The works are integrated into the exhibition as documentation of the objects before these objects are captured in ‘Beige Grit’ [‘Beige Grit’].

‘Beige Grit’ [‘Beige Sprinkles’] is a new work made of beige cords that hangs from the ceiling. I tie the various objects to it to create a unifying frame that deprives the objects of their use while capturing them in terms that put them in play with comparisons to other objects.

With ‘Beige Food and Drink,’ I create an experimental cooking school where participants can develop dishes and drinks with the tastes and hues of beige.” (Jette Gejl)


Duration of the exhibition: 29 June – 31 July 2018, opening hours: Tue- Fri, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

KunstRaum Goethestrasse xtd, Goethestrasse 30, 4020 Linz