Just do it!

Trading cards
Limited edition: 500 pcs.
Size: 105 x 59.5 mm/200g offset paper matt

October 2005

„The Lentos has established itself with its unique architecture in the urban development area. But the steady declining number of visitors make me think – which purpose does a pretty house have if hardly no one comes inside?“, so the recent statement of the mayor Franz Dobusch (Austrian Socialist Party), criticising the artistic and commercial leadership of the art museum LENTOS. The answer: A lot of critical articles in different newspapers against this banal reduction of the discussion by using the number of visitors. And that’s so true! The 1st-May Day-parade of the Socialist Party Linz is not simply cancelled just because fewer people are participating.

The idiocy of rural life strikes merciless. Now the discussion goes in to a strange direction: how do we get bike-tourists of the “blue-danube-steamshipping-company” to visit the LENTOS? What about exhibiting Piloty, Defregger or Egger-Lienz? Here we go: Fairs for electronic household appliance at the Ars Electronica Center, the Urfaust at the Theater Phönix, real operas of Wagner at the Brucknerhaus, the Posthof remains the same and the yellow Linz City Express gets replaced by red Steyr-T80-tractors. And even more: a punch of coloured LENTOS adds in Upper Austrian farmers newspapers, spectacular crowd-puller-events like “Danube ships in flames”, art-partnerships between Linz and Aigen/Schlägl, obligatory visits of museums for kindergarten-children (“Kids meet Mühl”) or indoor-pyro-shows in the LENTOS – everything just to raise the number of visitors!

One can recognize the idiocy of rural life also in this connection, because instead of a debate on quality-oriented and progressive museum-politics are following three defensive reflexes. First of all, the reference to the sinking number of visitors at comparable institutions after the opening-hype (and thus starting the discussion about the number of visitors); second, the announcement of “unique blockbusters” in the following year (Zaha Hadid! Helnwein! … and with that perpetuating the discussion about the number of visitors); and third, the reference to the uniqueness of the building, meaning the locational advantage because of urban developing measures. The discussion about meddling a municipal museum in the surrounding art- and culture scene is not happening (e.g. missing intention to connect with the “free art scene” or with freelancing artists).

It seems that the LENTOS is bending, almost groaning under the vast of the provincial politics, it is in danger of transforming itself from a White Cube to a Light Cube, a shining sarcophagus (for the actually fresh maker-inputs like the “Just do it!”-exhibition). The sublimely messages of the last exhibition nearly haven’t come up in public discourses.
The museum of the present and the future time cannot only be an institutionalized yard of the advanced culture (any exchange possible like alternative culture / pop culture / everyday life culture / …) but has to become a local, regional and international connected production machine, no, better: an offensive discourse machine, no, even better: a deleuzian war machine! Each single shining panel of the LENTOS has to become a glowing plateau of identity, a small drone which brings the referring content of the LENTOS in all possible and impossible political discourses.

(Photos: qujOchÖ)