Just do it!

Tra­ding cards /// 
Limi­ted edi­ti­on: 500 pcs., 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), cri­ti­ci­zing 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 colo­red 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)