artaker anna/schmidt-gleim meike , STATE IN TREATY life with a pre-design a contribution to the commemorative year

artaker anna/schmidt-gleim meike


STATE IN TREATY life with a pre-design a contribution to the commemorative year

"What has the State Treaty got to do with a fateful affair? And what has it got to do with an electricity pylon? This poster rummages about in the collective memory of that generation of Austrians who were born after the State Treaty, in order to follow the traces of the State Treaty both in Austria's recent history and as part of our everyday knowledge. A little bit of quasi-etymology helps to ascertain how sense and nonsense have established themselves in everyday knowledge." (Anna Artaker/Meike Schmidt-Gleim)
The project is entitled Staat im Vertrag (State in Treaty) and these words were what the two artists Anna Artaker and Meike Schmidt-Gleim took as the starting point of their research. It might be useful to know that these two women do not only have an artistic training, they are also philosophers, and that words and their interpretation and contextual combination are part of the tools of their trade. They ironically call their activity Etymogelei, (pseudo- or quasi-etymology), although the final product of their work tends to be highly-polished precision material.
Let us begin with ?State':
"STAAT-Tat-Tatblatt-EKH-Strommast-Strom-Hainburg-Kreisky" (?STATE-act-Tatblatt-EKH-electricity-pylon-electricity-Hainburg-Kreisky'). Doing some skilful mental gymnastics, the reader is taken through clearly structured events of the recent Austrian past. The content of every single word can be traced, allowing numerous conclusions: eight words or eight chapters of recent historiography. And whoever starts out from 'Treaty' and arrives, via "Gesellschaftsvertrag-schlechte Gesellschaft-Ges.m.b.H-BH-Dessous" (?Social treaty – bad society – Ltd. – bras) at Palmers, knows what is intended. And also "of course knows how it probably could/would/must continue ad infinitum".
In a workshop given at the Generali Foundation in Vienna in 2004, which was declared to be a "test workshop and collecting point", Meike Schmidt-Gleim took the title "I want to be a feminist" in order to see "gestures, signs, codes, tricks and grimaces not only as habits but also as facets of belonging, solidarity and collectiveness".
The project by Anna Artaker and Meike Schmidt-Gleim is likewise organised as a test workshop and collecting point – it is up to the viewers to find their own personal way through the structures and associative chains of thought provided by the artists.