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Der Regenschirm, die Schaufeln und der koreanische Tanz

Exhibition view, “G.R.A.M, Der Regenschirm, die Schaufeln und der koreanische Tanz“, 2017, © FOTOHOF

The events featured in G.R.A.M. re-enactments are not the ones people think they remember. Indeed, while the re-enactments often do reference actual people or historical figures, they are not particularly interested in them. For the G.R.A.M. artists, it is more about the multi-layered, image-critical strategy they devised some twenty years ago. The group of artists known as G.R.A.M. is interested first and foremost in “visuality“ in general and the way in which it is structured, its many different strategies and interpretations. And, in this context, different media and materials play a pivotal role. In their exhibition at Salzburg’s FOTOHOF, G.R.A.M. re-enacts select images from everyday media, from topical political news of the recent past. So it’s hard to dispel the impression of the paradoxical, of the (at times) absurdly surreal; in fact, that impression is even deliberately provoked. Entirely new content is created simply by strategically tweaking a panning shot, i.e. by substituting the protagonists, changing the locations, dressing up the references. Where one particular original might depict young Korean soldiers doing ballet exercises, the same scene as re-imagined by G.R.A.M. features their own involvement and that of their many peers. All of a sudden the context within which the protagonists evolve is completely different. Is it a self-help group playing out some group dynamics game as a way out of its misery?

G.R.A.M. (Matthias Cremer): “Mehr als hundert Journalisten wurden zum Parteitag eingeladen, durften dann aber nicht in die Halle. Draußen wurden sie überwacht“, 2016, 45 x 30 cm, Courtesy: Christine König Galerie, Vienna