We are Medi(evil)

Angela Bulloch, Liam Gillick

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Staff Picks We are Medi(evil)
Angela Bulloch, Liam Gillick

19 Minutes

Staff Picks

September 1–30, 2022

In 1994 artist Georg Herold invited a number of British and German artists to participate in a project called Karaoke (Fußball-WM) (Karaoke Football – World Cup) for Portikus, Frankfurt. In so doing he hoped to create an “exchange of cultural differences … with predefined rules of the game” by introducing a Karaoke element that would “break up and expand the predefined and tightly marked-out field” of art. The exhibition, timed to coincide with the 1994 World Cup, followed an earlier exhibition that had transformed Portikus into a bar and videotheque for the 1990 World Cup. Bulloch and Gillick rejected this curatorial directive and chose to take a “pre-football, before Karaoke” stance. This action involved digging a hole decorated with bunting and protected by a Herold-like wooden structure outside the main entrance to the space; planting a meadow on the land surrounding the building; and producing a video-manifesto at the Frankfurt Sportverband Hostel where all the British artists were housed. This “counter-context” position expressed their skepticism about reinforcing national identities in order to transcend them once more: a strategy of détournement conceived by the artists as a kind of “Medieval conceptualism.”

Angela Bulloch and Liam Gillick’s video We are Medi(evil) (1994, 19 minutes) is presented on e-flux Video & Film as the September 2022 edition of Staff Picks.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Film, Nationalism, Contemporary Art
Europe, Games & Play
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Angela Bulloch was born in Rainy River, Ontario, Canada in 1966. She finished her studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1988. In the same year she participated in the now infamous exhibition called Freeze in London’s Docklands. Bulloch was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997. She was a recipient of the Kunstpreis der Stadt Wolfsburg and the Vattenfall Contemporary Art Prize (both 2011) and was nominated for the Preis der Freunde der Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2005). Bulloch’s work has been presented widely in solo and group exhibitions around the world and in public, performative, and curatorial projects. She has collaborated to produce and perform a work for theater with musician David Grubbs called The Wired Salutation. She has released CDs and vinyl records by other musicians on her record label ABCDLP and she is a member of the five bass guitar band Big Bottom. She is a founding member of BPA// Berlin Program for Artists together with Willem de Rooij and Simon Denny, founded in 2016, and is a professor for Time-Based Media at the HFBK, Hamburg, since 2018.

Liam Gillick is an artist based in New York. His work exposes the dysfunctional aspects of a modernist legacy in terms of abstraction and architecture when framed within a globalized, neo-liberal consensus, and extends into structural rethinking of the exhibition as a form. He has produced a number of short films since the late 2000s which address the construction of the creative persona in light of the enduring mutability of the contemporary artist as a cultural figure. Over the last twenty five years Gillick has also been a prolific writer and critic of contemporary art, contributing to Artforum, October, Frieze, and e-flux Journal. His book Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820 was published by Columbia University Press in March 2016.


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