June 9, 2016 - GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst - Max Schaffer: Power of Style
June 9, 2016

GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst

View of Max Schaffer, Power of Style, GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, 2016. Photo: Tobias Hübel.

Max Schaffer
Power of Style
May 21–July 31, 2016

GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst
Teerhof 21
28199 Bremen
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +49 421 500897


What do you do when you can no longer reinvent the world, but there is still so much to say and so many questions to ask? Max Schaffer (*1985, lives in Berlin) solves this problem by reinterpreting what already exists. He does this by displacing, dislocating and translating, and not least by continually undermining expectations that he himself has created.

The central focus of Schaffer’s work lies in recording the details and textures of public and institutional space and the conventions governing their presentation, production and reception. His oeuvre is multifaceted, transcending formal categorisation. His project Power of Style, specially created for the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, is no exception. Here, he presents an eclectic overall picture made up of multiple strands, comparing and contrasting approaches and focusing on the relationships between work, institution, urban and internal space, reception and interpretation.

Power of Style’s various set pieces centre on responses to art and its institutional contexts. They blur categories, and ask questions: what is the exhibition, and what its institutional underpinning? What is original drawing, its interpretation or academic analysis? What is a work of art, and what is merchandising? How do we distinguish between audio art and tourist guide? Where does one end and another begin? And who makes the decisions—artist, institution or visitor?

In Power of Style, Schaffer’s consistently varied transpositions and reinterpretations question our expectations, perceptual patterns, and the visitor’s position in the process of approaching art. It defies aesthetic categorisation, and at a time when art is supposed to be “low-threshold” and to start from where the people are, Schaffer to some extent passes autonomy back to the visitors by withdrawing familiar points of reference and referring to themselves. Power of Style is ultimately about the big questions of self-awareness: how do we view the world, and what conclusions can we draw from this?

Closing remark: it is no coincidence that Power of Style opens on the birthday of the French novelist Honoré de Balzac, whose style Marcel Proust described as “non-style.”

Following the exhibition a catalogue will be published.

Curator: Janneke de Vries


GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst
Share - Max Schaffer
Power of Style
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York