Er macht aus Scheisse Gold… Hamburger Morgenpost

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tim-steiner-184
Image courtesy of Dominique Meienberg

Tätowiert, tot und ausgestopft: Das Schwein „Donata“ sorgt in Hamburg für Wirbel! Seit Donnerstag steht die Sau im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, als Teil der „Tattoo“-Ausstellung, die am 13. Februar eröffnet wird. Tierschützer laufen Sturm, der Künstler sieht’s gelassen. Denn Wim Delvoye (49) hat schon ganz andere Reaktionen auf seine Kunst-Stückchen bekommen. Etwa auf seine „Verdauungs-Maschine“. Echte Kacke? Inklusive!

Der Belgier provoziert gerne, sorgt mit seinen Werken immer wieder für Aufsehen. Mal hat er Mosaike aus Salami und Schinken ins Museum gehängt. Mal Teleskope gebaut, deren „Sucher“ im Hintern einer Skulptur stecken. Und mit „Tim“ das einzige „lebendige Kunstwerk“ der Welt geschaffen.

„Tim“, das ist der Schweizer Tim Steiner, dessen Rücken erst tätowiert und schließlich verkauft wurde: für 150.000 Euro an den Hamburger Sammler Rik Reinking. Steiner muss seinen Rücken jetzt regelmäßig in Ausstellungen zeigen – im April und Juni auch in der Hamburger „Tattoo“-Schau.

„Cloaca“ aber ist Delvoyes berühmtestes Kunstwerk, in allen wichtigen Museen der Welt war es schon zu sehen. Der 49-Jährige nennt es zärtlich „meine Kack-Maschine“, denn „Cloaca“ simuliert die menschliche Verdauung. Ein Expertenteam aus Ärzten, Bakteriologen und Ingenieuren hat es entwickelt, jahrelang mit Enzymen und Bakterien experimentiert.

Kacke: Die Verdauungs-Maschine „Cloaca“ machte den belgischen Künstler weltberühmt. Mittlerweile gibt es neun dieser Geräte, die Kot herstellen. Und „Cloaca“ funktioniert! Auf der einen Seite wird die zwölf Meter lange Maschine aus Glasbehältern und Schläuchen mit Nahrung gefüttert: Bananen, Pizza oder – wie einst im Rahmen einer Ausstellung in Lyon – auch schon mal ein 3-Sterne-Menü. Und auf der anderen Seite kommt die Sch… wieder raus. Die Würste werden in Folie gepackt und mit einem Datumsstempel versehen.

Für den Meister-Provokateur ein lohnendes Geschäft: „Ich kann locker 3000 Dollar für eine Kackwurst nehmen“, verriet der Belgier einmal in einem Interview. „Kacke ist eigentlich das Wertloseste, was es gibt, und Leute würden nie auf die Idee kommen, dafür Geld auszugeben. Aber dann kommen sie ins Museum und sagen: ,Oh, da ist ja ein Stempel mit meinem Geburtstag drauf!‘ – und kaufen das Päckchen.“

Inzwischen gibt es neun „Cloaca“-Versionen. 2009 baute Delvoye die jüngste: das „Cloaca Travel-Kit“. Es ist so klein, dass es in einen Aktenkoffer passt. Für gute Verdauung auf Reisen.

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Haus für Kunst Uri

hfk plakat 1.entwurf 8-2014Totenkopf und Tattoo
Dominique von Burg
Neue Zürcher Zeitung

«Wie ich gestorben bin? Ich bin ausgerutscht und gestürzt. Ich habe mir immer so einen Tod vorgestellt.» So beschreibt der Pfarrer der Giudecca in Venedig den eigenen Tod als fiktive Vergangenheit, was den Betrachtenden zunächst irritiert. Der Pfarrer ist einer von 36 Venezianern, die sich in der Videoinstallation «Tutti Veneziani» von 1999 (Biennale von Venedig) des Künstlerpaars Mauricio Dias (geb. 1964, Rio de Janeiro) und Walter Riedweg (geb. 1955, Luzern) zu ihrem eigenen Tode äussern. Wird hier ein imaginärer Totentanz inszeniert, tritt uns in der schwarz-weissen Fotoserie aus der Werkgruppe Katakomben, Palermo, 1963, von Peter Hujar (geb. 1934) die reale, mächtige, schnörkellose Präsenz von Mumien entgegen. Dagegen ist John Armleders raumdominante Wandmalerei mit stilisierten Totenköpfen, 2002/14, der christlichen Symbolik entkleidet, zu einem dekorativen, popartigen Element transformiert.

In den Räumen des Hauses für Kunst Uri entfaltet sich eine ungeheuer breitgefächerte Palette von Todes- und Jenseitsvorstellungen mit Werken zahlreicher Kulturschaffender aus fünf Jahrhunderten. Ausgehend vom traditionellen Innerschweizer Umfeld, was dem Ort selber geschuldet ist, führt der Rundgang von Reliquiaren, Amuletten über ein Krüllbild, einen Käslin-Altar und einen Schwurschädel bis zu zeitgenössischen Werken auch international wirkender Kunstschaffender, die von der Auseinandersetzung mit den letzten Dingen der Welt zeugen.

Neben den vielfältigen Emblemen der Endlichkeit und Sterblichkeit, die von der Adoration bis zur Blasphemie reichen, sorgt das lebendige menschliche Kunstwerk «TIM» für eine erhebliche Provokation. Während der Ausstellungseröffnung präsentierte der Schweizer Tim Steiner seinen vollständig tätowierten Rücken mit Totenschädel und Madonna, den er 2008 für 150 000 Euro an den deutschen Kunstsammler Rik Reinking verkaufte, nachdem der belgische Künstler Wim Delvoye (geb. 1965) das Tattoo entworfen und Matt Powers es ausgeführt hatte. Für diese Summe hat sich Steiner verpflichtet, das Kunstwerk jährlich für einige Wochen zu präsentieren, und nach seinem Tode wird die Hautpartie dem Käufer oder dessen Erben übergeben. Während von Reliquien oder anderen religiösen Artefakten innerhalb eines verbindlichen religiösen Systems eine magische, heilende Kraft erwartet wird, gerät der «verkaufte» Rücken von Tim Steiner auf die Stufe blosser Tauschware und bildet so eine prägnante Metapher für die alles verobjektivierende und vereinnahmende Tendenz im Kapitalismus.

Aus der Tiefe rufe ich zu Dir: Gotteserfahrung und Teufelsküche. Haus für Kunst Uri. Bis 23. November 2014.uri

Video

Existenziell in der Weserburg

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So Bremen turned out to be an unexpected blast. I really like this museum and it was nice to be back as an exhibit this time around. Rik’s collection fit perfectly into the surroundings and seeing Franticek, Dimitris, Baldur and Rik gave the whole thing a family reunion groove. I want to thank Peter Friese and his whole team for a perfect experience. The exhibition is on until next year and you really should go and check it out.

Sat. 1 Beitrag

Artikel Bild Zeitung

Artikel Bild Zeitung Teil II

Image courtesy of Anna H.


Image courtesy of Franticek Klossner

Video

THE PRICE OF MY LIFE

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In India, a baby costs 14 euros. A woman in Albania is 800 and 30 head of cattle, and a Kalashnikov will buy a bride in southern Sudan. 25 million dollars was the price the US government put on the heads of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife received 1.2 billion euros in their divorce.

Can a price be put on human life? The answer would seem to be “no”: a human being is priceless, his worth cannot be determined in terms of money. The very idea appears to violate the principle of human dignity. And yet determining the concrete value of a person is exactly what innumerable experts worldwide are engaged in: healthcare economists, insurance brokers, doctors, politicians. Their calculations affect traffic accident victims and fallen soldiers; they play a role in developing environmental and disaster plans and in measuring the “human capital” of a business; and they determine the prices paid for hostages, sex slaves and surrogate mothers.

“What am I worth?” This concrete, almost naive question is the film’s starting point. The filmmaker asks it both of himself and of his protagonists throughout the world. And he discovers the most astonishing schemes for measuring human value. What criteria do people like Kenneth Feinberg, a US government compensation specialist, use to determine the amount to be paid out to the families of the victims of the September 11th attacks? Why is the life of a firefighter who died a hero in the Twin Towers worth on average a million euros less than that of a dead stockbroker? Why might it be “uneconomical”, following the calculations of Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive of the National Institute for Health in London, to put an elderly man on dialysis? At what point does each of us become a write-off? In a series of episodes that gradually interweave with each other, the film pursues the issue of what it means to buy and sell human beings like any other commodity. The audience is led into a world where the monetary calculation of human worth has long since become business as usual. The insights provided are as shocking as they are revealing; cruelty meets and mixes with absurdity and even dissolves at times into high comedy.

THE PRICE OF MY LIFE – A road movie through the fascinating and bizarre world of those who appraise human worth.

Existenzielle Bildwelten

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Weserburg Bremen 24.05.2014 – 01.02.2015
With works from approximately fifty contemporary artists along with artifacts from Africa, Oceania, and America, the exhibition presents one of the most unusual private collections in Germany. Its theme is the current perspective with regard to those artistic attitudes which concentrate upon the experience of life on an existential level and bring this focus to expression in each respective work in an impressive manner. The multiple meanings and aesthetic power of the objects and images, their auratic energy and occasional dramatic transformation point toward artistic practices which are repeatedly capable of transcending the borders of material reality in the direction of the unconscious, dreams, and death.

In many cases, the works on display juxtapose continents and cultures in an overarching, associative manner. The unusual combinations reveal various interconnections and cross-references. Attention is directed in particular to the way in which art establishes links between various elements. The global perspective with which the collection is structured makes it possible to give consideration to and to show respect for the diverse characters and variable meanings of the works, and also to make these aspects a part of one’s own aesthetic experience. New perspectives and points of view are opened onto both contemporary and traditional works.

On display are works by international artists from the nineteen-sixties until today. In combination with extra-European, traditional art, there arise almost as a matter of course both vivid contrasts and surprising synergies. In spite of their stylistic characteristics, differences, and peculiarities, these works share a common concern for transforming everyday realities, disrupting habitual points of view, and giving rise to aesthetic experiences which open up the borders to the transcendent realm of spirituality.

All in all, the presentation includes a wide range of various genres and forms of expression. In addition to paintings and drawings, there are sculptures, objects, and installations. One highlight is certainly the gigantic, space-encompassing work consisting of fragile glass display cases in which the Canadian artist Terence Koh presents 222 heads made of black ash. But also Frantiček Klossner’s cast of the upper part of his body, made of ice and hanging from the ceiling, is worthy of close attention. During the opening of the exhibition, the massive block of ice will begin to melt, and the figure of the Swiss artist will gradually dissolve right before the eyes of the visitors. In addition to Klossner and Reinking, Tim Steiner will also be present at the opening. On his back, Steiner has a tattoo designed by the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye which clearly numbers among the most impressive works to be seen in the exhibition.

“Existential Visual Worlds” is based entirely on works from the Reinking Collection. A resident of Hamburg, the keen-sensed collector gathered a wide range of unusual artistic positions from Fluxus past Minimalism all the way to Street Art and has combined them with artifacts from Africa, America, and Oceania. The exhibition “Existential Visual Worlds” in the Weserburg is marked by the particular manner in which these different works enter into relation with each other and give rise to new meanings and surprising aesthetic experiences among the viewers.

Participating artists:

Hermine Anthoine, Arman, Dan Asher, Mirosław Bałka, Victor Bonato, Boxi, William Burroughs, Baldur Burwitz, Michael Buthe, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Cesar, Wim Delvoye, Madeleine Dietz, Jimmie Durham, Henrik Eiben, Jan Fabre, Robert Filliou, Gregor Gaida, Gregory Green, Wulf Kirschner, Frantiček Klossner, Terence Koh, Toshiya Kobayashi, Alicja Kwade, Peter Land, Ange Leccia, Hermann Nitsch, Cady Noland, Manuel Ocampo, Tony Oursler, Wolfgang Petrick, Robert Rauschenberg, Arne Rautenberg, Klaus Rinke, Ugo Rondinone, Rolf Rose, Michael Schmeichel, Dimitris Tzamouranis et al.

Terence Koh, Crackhead 2006, Sammlung Reinking

Was ist uns unsere Haut wert?

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Gewerbemuseum Winterthur; Tattoo

Was ist uns unsere Haut wert?

Talkrunde und Live-Präsentation im Rahmen der Ausstellungen Tattoo & Skin to Skin

Im Gewerbemuseum Winterthur

Donnerstag, 27. Februar 2014

17.00 Uhr-18.30 Uhr

„Tim“, das lebendige Kunstwerk von Wim Delvoye, ist ein letztes Mal in der Ausstellung TATTOO live zu sehen.

18.30 Uhr

Talkrunde mit Tim Steiner und Experten aus Kulturwissenschaft und Rekonstruktiver Chirurgie:

•Tim Steiner alias „Tim“

•Prof. Dr. Ulrike Landfester, Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaftlerin, Universität St. Gallen

•Prof. Dr. Ernst Reichmann, Leiter Tissue Biology Research Unit, Chirurgische Klinik, Universitätskinderkliniken Zürich, www.skingineering.ch

•PD Dr. med. Clemens Schiestl, Leiter Plastische und Rekonstruktive Chirurgie, Zentrum für brandverletzte Kinder, Chirurgische Klinik, Universitätskinderkliniken Zürich

Moderation: Karin Salm, Redaktorin Radio SRF

Foto: Michael Lio

Rundmail_Talk_Tim_WasistunsereHautwert_Gewerbemuseum

NEW YORK TIMES…

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Wim Van Egmond/Studio Wim Delvoye

Tattooing Makes Transition From Cult to Fine Art

By Emily Randall

LONDON — Late last year, the British model Kate Moss revealed a personal fact that intrigued not only the fashion and celebrity media, but also the art world.

The revelation went beyond the acknowledgement from Ms. Moss, one of the most photographed women in the world, that she had tattoos. It included the claim that the swallows on her haunch were the work of the German-born British artist Lucian Freud, who had died the previous year.

In a rare interview published in the December issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Ms. Moss pondered the financial value of that tattoo: “It’s an original Freud. I wonder how much a collector would pay for that? A few million? I’d skin-graft it.”

The numbers might sound surprising, but a nude portrait of Ms. Moss, painted by Mr. Freud in 2002 while the model was pregnant, sold three years later at Christie’s in London for €3.92 million, or about $5.14 million at current exchange rates. The mention of a skin graft put the spotlight on the relationship between tattoos and fine art — and by extension, art collection.

Until recently, the integration of tattoos into the art world was mostly confined to performance art. In 2000, for example, the Spanish artist Santiago Sierra paid four prostitutes the price of a hit of heroin and filmed them having single black lines tattooed across their backs. But today, tattoos — much like graffiti, which in the past decade has been transformed from cult to collectible — are increasingly being embraced by the art world, particularly in areas where art and fashion meet.

For the introduction in 2011 of Garage magazine, for instance, the editor Dasha Zhukova commissioned artists including Jeff Koons, Dinos Chapman and Richard Prince to design tattoos. One version showed part of a nude model whose private parts were covered by a green butterfly sticker created by the English artist Damien Hirst. Taking off the sticker uncovered a butterfly tattoo, also designed by Mr. Hirst.

Prestigious art institutions like the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris have taken note. The museum is planning an exhibition in May 2014 called “Tatoueurs, Tatoués,” or “Tattooists, Tattooed,” to explore tattooing as an artistic medium. The show will include “works produced specially for the event by internationally renowned artist tattooists, body suits on canvas and volumes comprising imprints taken from living models,” the museum said in a news release.

Two exponents who are bridging the art and tattoo worlds are the artist Duke Riley, based in New York, and the London-based tattooist Maxime Büchi. Mr. Riley, who trained in painting and sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Pratt Institute in New York, describes himself as a “fine artist and tattooist.” His growing success as an artist has “elevated” his status as a tattooist, he said.

Mr. Büchi, a London-based tattooist and the editor of Sang Bleu magazine, which is available at the Tate Modern in London and the Colette store in Paris, says the Internet has made it possible to browse a huge online catalog of tattoo art. While he claims to dislike the term “tattoo artist,” he said that an increasingly discerning public had bolstered demand to be inked by someone whose work in other media is sold, exhibited and recognized.

In addition to being an exhibition space, the Internet provides opportunities for marketing and self-promotion in a rapidly changing field. Twenty years ago, Mr. Riley said, tattooists learned a wide range of styles to demonstrate mastery of the craft. Today, by contrast, there is a sharp increase in tattooists seeking to establish unique artistic identities.

As with contemporary art, questions about originality and copyright have emerged. Some see imitation in the field as part of a collective tattoo tradition, while others are more protective. Mr. Riley is sanguine about the subject — when his work is copied, he said, he is flattered. Mr. Büchi said he felt “honored” when copied, but he acknowledged the complexity of the issue. “If you are creating a style which is so specific that nobody imitates it,” he said, “then you are clearly doing something wrong. But it’s a delicate thing.”

Mr. Büchi spoke of a “license” of sorts, an agreement between those who are inspired and influenced by one another. “That’s different from someone seeing a design of mine online and passing it off as their own,” he said.

As for Ms. Moss’s musings about reselling tattoos, Mr. Riley said that skin grafting had come up in conversation “at least once a week” in his Brooklyn parlor, East River Tattoo.

The preservation of skin art is already a reality. The Wellcome Collection in London and the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum both feature preserved tattooed skins. And the Irish performance artist Sandra Ann Vita Minchin, who commissioned a tattooist to recreate a 17th- century painting by Jan Davidsz. de Heem on her back, plans to have her skin preserved posthumously and auctioned to the highest bidder.

In 2006, the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye created a piece of work titled “Tim, 2006,” in which Mr. Delvoye tattooed the back of a man, Tim Steiner, and signed it. In 2008, it sold to a German art collector for €150,000, which was split between the Zurich gallery which had sold it, the artist and the model. Mr. Steiner displays his skin several times a year, and has given consent for his skin to be framed after his death.

Preserving skin posthumously is likely to become relatively common by the time the 20-year-olds of today enter old age, Mr. Riley said, particularly considering the monetary investment involved with collecting high-end tattoos.

Such thoughts can veer toward the sinister. Ilse Koch, the wife of a Nazi commandant during the Holocaust and one of the first prominent Nazis to be tried by the U.S. military, was accused of having taken souvenirs from the skin of concentration camp victims with distinctive tattoos. In Roald Dahl’s 1952 short story “Skin,” a destitute man enters a gallery and displays a portrait tattooed on his back by a now celebrated painter, leading to a bidding war and an unsettling ending.

A more likely scenario, Mr. Riley said, is that family members would choose to preserve the tattoos of loved ones. For Mr. Büchi, however, tattooing is not art to be passed on through generations. “The value of a tattoo lies in the fact that it does not belong to the artist in that way,” he said. “To preserve it would be to devalue it. Its value is that it will die with you.’

WERTICAL – Rik Reinking

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WERTICAL.COM

November 30, 2013

When art critic, dealer and collector Rik Reinking showed a sprayed canvas to an auctioneer friend of his ten years ago, he received nothing but a disparaging smile before being waved aside. Reinking was one of the first to estimate the value of stencils, graffiti, stickers and pastings at a time when street art was not yet defined as art and when Banksy was regarded more as a pubertal vandal than an artist. “Whereas today, these exact people who amused themselves back then, kneel in front of artworks from, for example Banksy,” says Reinking. “And yet, the artwork hasn’t changed – just its image.”

Reinking writes books about art and buys art for others, especially for himself. His collection is composed of too many works to count, though it’s more than enough to fill several exhibitions. We met him at his office in his home in Hamburg. The shelf behind his desk is filled with books and catalogs. A quick overview suggests Reinking does not separate high and low art. He values the scrimshaw before him on the desk as much as the OS-Gêmeos guitar leaning against the corner. We spoke to Reinking about his collection and about a unique piece of art he purchased in 2008 called TIM, probably the only one in the world that has its own needs.

Wertical: You really don’t know how many pieces of art are in your collection?
Rik Reinking: No, I really don`t have a clue. There are so many attempts to define or at least explain at which point a collection is a collection, but actually it doesn’t matter to me how what I have bought together is defined. That’s why I gave the name Call It What You Like to one of my exhibitions. What does this magic number do for me, that estimates a collection? It is only a relative size. For instance, there is an artist whose photo I buy every day.

WE: Every day?
RR: Yes, and I’ve been doing this for at least 15 years. Which means, with an average of 365 days a year, there are over 12,000 photos I have by him now. How do I arrange these into a collection? Is it a single work because it belongs to a concept? Or does every single picture count as its own?

WE: That is a good question. Most people would probably count the single works instead of summarizing it as a single piece. This must be a very prolific artist.
RR: Yes, the work is made by the German artist Till F.E. Haupt and it belongs to a concept. He wears a “Lochbildkamera” around his neck and every day he takes one picture by bundling all the light and impressions of that day. But two pictures emerge – he takes another one of himself.

WE: And you are the only person that gets these pictures?
RR: In this consequence, I think yes. But of course, the artist rather knows this.

WE: Has he got an interesting life that is worth being captured visually?
RR: Yes, definitely.

WE: Remarkable – people who take pictures of themselves again and again.
RR: Yes, especially the directness. It is a very intensive project.

WE: How did you integrate this work?
RR: As a single piece of work.

WE: Your collection includes old masters, conceptual art, as well as current works. If you call it street or urban art, do think that it is a serious art movement?
RR: Yes, and it is the one of the big opportunities of our time. Since Fluxus graffiti, street or urban art is the only art movement that has been established internationally. And now, slowly, the importance of the artists are emerging. I am only skeptical about the prices that are being named for this very young art direction. Of course, money can measure the momentum, but assuredly it can’t measure the quality of the work. Nowadays, a commercial context is being sold through the price on the art market, but that doesn’t mean it’s brilliant work.

WE: Are you still interested in art at all, the art that is on the market at the present day?
RR: Often, I can’t afford present day art. But I already have the works that I want to grow old with. And these are worth the same at any time. Certainly, I pay the price that is called for, but I also forget it instantly. The only thing that interests me about the price is what my account looks like and if I can afford it.

WE: Is your collection complete or are you still hunting down new artists and works that you can collect?
RR: In 2008, I wanted to call my collection complete and bought a final piece of art. But I have purchased quite a few works since then.

WE: Why did you want to call it quits?
RR: I thought that it was enough and that I had found the ultimate work to complete my collection.

WE: What kind of work was it?
RR: TIM – a work of Wim Delvoye. It is a tattoo on the back.

WE: Do you have it here?
RR: No, that is not possible. The person whose back it is on is a young man from Switzerland who still lives there.

WE: How did this happen, that he advertised his back as a piece of art and you noticed it?
RR: I visited a gallery in Zurich and there it was.

WE: As a photo?
RR: No, Tim Steiner, the person whose back it is on, was standing there.

WE: And what is so significant about his back tattoo? Did Wim Delvoye tattoo it personally?
RR: No, he signed it, but the tattoo itself was done by a tattoo artist.

WE: Based on his work?
RR: Exactly. And Tim now has the eponymous work on his back.

WE: How old is Tim?
RR: He is my age. We were born in the same year.

WE: Do you know how much Tim earned on this back tattoo?
RR: I don`t know that. I bought the work from the gallery of Wim Delvoye.

WE: How exactly does this deal work?
RR: After his death, the skin will be taken off his back, tanned and raised.

WE: What is your opinion of the work? Does it fascinate you to have bought a living piece of art?
RR: Let’s put it this way: I wouldn’t have bought this work if I were a 60-, 70-, or 80-year-old collector or if he were that age. The fact that we are approximately the same age is a very exciting and important component. There arises a certain race. And the choice of buying this work wasn’t easy for me. I tortured myself through many nights without sleep. This work rises to a lot of new and different levels, which I haven’t experienced before and I wouldn’t have expected. Just a short while ago, we had a long discussion, and it is very bizarre because you usually never have a discussion with a piece of art. Usually you purchase it if you fancy it, hang it up, and if you don`t want to see it anymore, just put it into your stock. That would be the normal way things should go. But we just had the situation that the piece of art, which has a very good exhibition history by now… after I got it, it went directly to Karlsruhe into the ZKM ….

WE: In other words, Tim stood in that exhibition?
RR: Yes, on some days.

WE: Does Tim support his life like this?
RR: He has just been loaned to the Louvre. I always have to laugh if a museum calls me and asks for this work. I say, yes, please. There is a good and a bad side to this: The good is that you won`t have to pay for delivery and insurance charges. The bad is that you will have to pay for the hotel and catering. But it’s exactly the lively part about this work that makes the beauty. And Tim has enough time in order to do this.

WE: So this means that his full-time job is being a piece of art?
RR: No, actually he is a musician.

WE: What exactly is featured on the tattoo?
RR: For me, the picture itself is secondary. This work is a centerpiece and is important to my collection. All these different ideas of energy fields,values, the attendance and absence of bodies – these are interesting topics according to me. And naturally things like low art – graffiti or street art or tattoos – belong there.

WE: That is exactly what distinguishes you: You bring high art and low art together and confront them.
RR: And it only works through this self-understanding.

WE: So what was the topic of the conversation you just had with Tim?
RR: He approached me and said: “Rik, I want to be sold.” But I didn’t want that. He said I shouldn’t take this the wrong way, but he wants to be auctioned off to see what he’s worth.

WE: Your piece of art wanted to become autonomous.
RR: Correct. But I don`t sell anything from my collection and he is aware of this. We had a long discussion, and at the end, we decided that we wouldn’t do it. I purchased this work and see it as my responsibility to protect it. Who knows who would buy him next, and what would happen to him. We all know about the value of a human life in some cultures.

WE: Is Tim insured as art?
RR: Tim has a contract that is nearly 30 pages.

WE: Which surely will reserve your rights. Why is Tim the ultimate work?
RR: Tim is a clever and critical person, he knows the reason but doesn`like it being mentioned. The work reflects our time fearlessly. It is a time in which our public life has such a colossal value that somebody is willing to strike up such a pact. This is a really interesting component about this work. I think I shocked Tim as property and value aren’t important to me. Of course, things I buy are mine, but I am not interested in that fact. I am not interested in power and thus I am not interested in money either. But when this artwork walks up to me and says: “I want to be sold,” I am suddenly confronted with my power over him. I am allowed to agree or disagree. So the artwork forces me to play my power off and this goes against my moral sense. As such, I told him that I am only responsible for his back. If I take the artwork seriously, in the interest of the artist and of me, I have to consider it without the head that actually belongs to it. Because the head and the body belong to Tim.
RIK
Rik Reinking – Image stolen from the Net…