ad utrumque paratus – Some Remarks On Aesthetic Possibilities Of Unfinished Works of Art



ad utrumque paratus
Some Remarks On Aesthetic Possibilities Of Unfinished Works of Art

RUEDIGER JOHN

Artist Statement & Talk
for NYU students and open to the public

New York University
Languages & Literature Building
19 University Place

Wednesday, September, 20th 2006 – 3:30 pm

In his statement the artist Ruediger John points out the intrinsic possibilities – or rather abilities – a work of art can have if it is still unfinished (or considered so).

“[…] Typically we rely on and value works of art that are already completed by the artist (unless there is a nice or tragic little anecdote why he or she was not able to finish it) – because we want to be sure e.g. a) it is worth the time to look at b) we can lean back to enjoy, judge and criticise c) it can be bought as it is d) and so forth. The crucial point is: We want to be secured about the character and impact of the piece of art. But what if an artist obviously does not give the audience this secured position? What if a work of art can bite you in the ass some time later – because it is developing its teeth while you already own it (as a simpler way of an interventionistic effect)? Or, more important, if a work of art uses its obviously unfinished characteristic to refer to, or rather inherit the qualities of what remains open and ‘unsolved’ as an additional source of ‘value’? But not to define every detail of a work can make it more dependable on influences of its surroundings (it is a problem every artwork faces – and most of all the classical form of painting does) – a contemporary artist has to incorporate this in the work during the process of creation […]” (Ruediger John in an interview with Paul Kovac)

He also talks about what happens if he employs elements and tactics used in performance art to create installative works in an interventionistic way (e.g. outside the preoccupied perspective of audiences in gallery spaces, museums and other ‘white cubes’) using camouflage and irritation to guide and focus the aesthetics of an audience – to ultimately broaden its experiences (maybe).