Der bohèmistische Leichnam (The Bohemian Corpse)

April 4 — April 26, 2009

The title of this cooperative project alludes to »cadavre exquis«, a game of associations devised by the French Surrealists of the early twentieth century, in which a picture was constructed by several individuals without any of them knowing what the others had contributed. On a folded sheet of paper one person would draw the head, one the torso, then the limbs and so on, so that by the end some kind of creature would have emerged.

At the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, using a variety of approaches and – in contrast to »cadavre exquis« – on the basis of discussion between the contributors, the plan is to create a sort of collage which, with performances, installations and »actions«, will assume forms very different from the Surrealist drawing on paper. For some time now K2AO have been working with the theme of bohemianism as an idiosyncratic lifestyle outside the normal social conventions.

They have been viewing it not only historically, but also as a much-loved (or unloved) phenomenon associated with working as an artist at the present time, or as a specific life plan. An example of a very up-to-date form of bohemianism is the »digital Bohème«, which Holm Friebe and Sascha Lobo, in their book »Wir nennen es Arbeit« (We Call it Work), describe as a group of people who »have resolved to live a life of self-determination, gladly embracing the blessings of technology and using the latest communication technologies to expand their scope for action«. So does the concept of bohemianism still count as a defining characteristic of the contemporary artist?

In collaboration with the students of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, for some of whom this is the second time they are working on a joint project with the Munich group, a critical investigation will be made into the contemporary relevance of bohemianism and the meanings attached to it. In this mutually stimulating exchange of ideas, wholly new aspects of this topical theme may emerge.