Joe Scanlan: Mieses to Pieces
The American artist Joe Scanlan is showing work from his series Store A in his second solo show at the Galerie Martin Janda Raum Aktueller Kunst from September 9th to October 18th. The title of the show Mieses to Pieces is on one hand a reference to Mies van der Rohe while at the same time it alludes to the fragmentary and deconstructivist character of Scanlan’s citation. The “play” on words aspect refers to a traditional cartoon series in the USA about the eternal battle of a cat against its favorite enemy, the mice (slang: mieses).
Light gray chipboard floor tiles on a modular wooden construction – on this, aluminium pillars designed by Mies van der Rohe – form the elements of the central piece in this show of Scanlan’s most recent work. The content structure and the spatial components of the Store A studio in Brooklyn are the starting point for a great variety of different presentations. Store A is workshop and industrial firm, studio and structural construction office, presentation space and salesroom – a cross section of possible production centers and economic systems. The floor of this space generates object autonomy, while at the same time it functions as a display for Scanlan’s “sculptural products”: DIY (Do It Yourself) – a set of instructions for self-assembly. For example, one can produce an inexpensive coffin from two “Billy” bookcases and several further IKEA products by following the accompanying handbook.
Joe Scanlan’s show playfully thematizes the achievements and faults of the modern age, juxtaposes industrial production with traditional trades, and draws from the fund of economic trading to more accurately define his artistic strategies.