Member’s Voice – Jochen Hein, von Herzen…



Schade, ich dachte hier in ARTDOXA kann man mal einen Diskurs starten.


Ich verstehe die Kunstwelt, wie ich sie zu erkennen meine, immer besser:
Die Künstler sind harmlose Opfer, die in Ruhe ihren Quatsch veranstalten




Und sie sind die arglosen und leicht zu verschleißenden Spielbälle von Typen, die speziell darauf keine Rücksicht nehmen.




Ich gehöre eigentlich auch in die erste Kategorie.




Aber nicht zuletzt mit der Idee zu ARTDOXA wollte ich mich und andere da rauslocken, und


teilweise selbst zu den Spielern machen.
Es ist interessant – mit einem geringfügig größeren Abstand fühle ich ein “Aha”.




Alle Versuche, in Sachen Kunst ein Forum zu etablieren, das in Engagement und Anstand konstruktive Auseinandersetzung erlaubt, wie wir sie aus allen anderen
Bereichen – außer in der Religion! – erleben können, sind doch bisher
regelmäßig fehlgeschlagen.




Mag ja toll sein, dass ich mich dazu bereit fühle.




Aber das ist dann doch so exotisch, wie wenn ein zutiefst spiritueller, gläubiger Mensch meint, mit
Papst, Mullah und Teufel die Grundlagen religiöser Weltsicht ernsthaft verhackstücken zu können.




Echt: Wach auf Jochen!




Gespräche über Kunst brauchen einen Schutzraum, eine Sphäre der zusätzlichen Absicherung, damit sie überhaupt stattfinden.




Und doch haftet ihnen sofort das Unerhörte, das Ungezogene an.




Gewisse Heilige faßt man nicht an.




Und außerhalb privater Gespräche werden sowieso verbindliche Kriterien als Grundlage der Kritik grundweg, ubiquitär und von jedermann bezweifelt.

“Nö, is doch schön … wenn er es mag”.




Die Aussage ist: Kunst ist nicht community-fähig.




Es ist Privatsache.




Während das Bedürfnis nach Aufgehobensein als Schutz vor der
Vergeblichkeit, der Nichtigkeit des Menschen durch das so verbreitete
Interesse am Glauben durch Religion institutionalisiert werden kann, also
auch community-fähig ist, so ist das Bedürfnis nach Kunst und Kunst-Ausüben
so selten und vereinzelt, dass es die paar Schafe, falls sie sich überhaupt
mal je auf der Koppel treffen, sofort versprengt, sobald auch nur ein
vermeintlicher Wolf den Kopf hebt.




Diese armen Lämmchen.




Und was wünschen sie sich?




Einen Messias immer mal wieder?




Dass die Hölle unserer Existenz mehr köstlich Röstaromen dem allgemeinen und unbestimmen guten Geschmack der Massen hinzufügen möge?
Weil ich die Welt mal wieder nicht so haben wollte, wie sie nun mal ist?




Kann man sie denn nicht ändern?




Geht mich das was an?




Ja, ich hielt das bei meinen Möglichkeiten für meine Pflicht. Diese Art des Dienen-Wollens muß anmaßend wirken, wenn es sich um eine Sache handelt, die “man nicht anfaßt”.




Gar nicht so verwunderlich, dass ich der Kunst und den Künstlern mehr zugetraut habe. Der Junge der leidenschaftlich und begnadet Fußball spielt, wundert sich nicht über den faszinierenden Zirkus der Weltmeisterschaft.




Er wundert sich erst, wenn er im Transfersummen-Trainerkarusell-Verletzungs-Doping-Poker blank dasteht.




Oder wenn er erst gar nie mitspielen durfte.




Alle haben gesagt: Hey ARTDOXA, gute Idee! Community for contemporary art!




Ritter der Kokosnuß, hier hilft doch nur noch die Steigerung des Schwachsinns!




Nicht einmal, dass man diskutiert, macht Sinn. Bis in die beschützenden Turnhallen der Ausdruckssportler dringt kein Laut, den sie verstehen oder auch nur verstehen wollten.




Ist doch schön, jeder macht sein Ding. Kunstmachen entspringt einem dumpfen und unbestimmten Drang, sich ausdrücken zu wollen, that’s it!




Und jetzt, Jochen, halt’ die

Best regards,






















Photography: Peter Bies © 2009

Member’s Voice: Originality – A Waste of Time! By David James Doody

Heinz Chili con Carne

Ceci n’est pas an original!


Hey Peter,

I am finally having a few moments of rest, just long enough to drop you a line. I had been meaning to drop you a note for a while now, actually I had thought to add a comment in regard to the blog on dadaism. Both Jorden and I were stoked, to say the least, to be included in such a pertinent discussion. Thank you for that. Without too much focus on pride, it feels good to have our work mean something to others, especially to those who are interested in art.

It’s Sunday morning, French toast and toasted pecans… but as I was saying, it was a good debate on dadaism today, and especially on the relevance of the “ready made”, and the notions of the loss of heart in art. For us, this cusp is a very interesting and fully charged place to be working, but, in all honesty, to come to writing a fully immersed position on art, artmaking, and the world of viewership – well, that really deserves more than a shorthand electronic dialogue between two super enthusiasts, but in reality… that is all I have to offer up at this stage of the morning… But as I imply from your earlier rebuttal, the sincerity of humor is so often overlooked as legitimate, valid place for art making. Now, I’m not trying to push the potency of irony, nor the surgical precision of sarcasm. I am just referring to humor in general. Generally speaking, if a work is not connected with serious connotations, it is often not taken seriously. Perhaps it is my own sheltered naivety that allows me at times to bask and revel in the not so serious nature of natural life, in the beauty of the moments in between. And perhaps my early introduction and fascination with the likes of Monty Python has persuaded me to “always look at the bright side of life”. In my opinion humor is often sadly discredited in art. But in saying so, like anything, art making and the reflections of life are not one-sided, but multi-dimensional, so humor is one side of a pervertible coin.

In regards, more specifically, to the concept of the “ready made” in contemporary art – I agree that the Duchampian notion of the “ready made”, at its time in its original context, had a certain potency seldomly found in current practices. However, I believe this is for a multitude of reasons. One of them being the “well that’s been done”. And we all know that sort of president can easily rob new material of its punch line (and now again I’m going to try not to fall into a discussion of the pertinence of Duchamp to his time and ours, due solely to the lack of commitment, energy and my interest in the beating of dead horses or overstating the obvious…).

I guess those concerns are lost on those who struggle in search of the “original”. And I say fuck that shit! I mean – what a waste of time that is! Isn’t the devotion to “originality”, and the search for wholly new artistic ideas, idioms, methods and motives, one of the most unoriginal positions one can take on as an artist? Aren’t the concrete assertions of an individual to complete and utter originality both in the same breath wonderfully, uniquely, enriching, inspiring as well as completely constricting, misdirected, naive and just a little redundant?

So what’s the use of “ready mades”, now that I’m no longer worried if they are a valid original or unique? “Ready mades” are like colors. Just one type of tool. One type of mark in the plethora of residual, excreting expressions so many of us refer to under the umbrella of “art”. And since I’m not chained down to anything here, I’m again free to make rogue collisions of colors, materials, images, items or what ever else might find its way into the realm of my mind.


“Rogue collisions of colors, materials, images, items…” – Jorden Blue and David James Doody, “right window” (detail-3), 2008 (http://www.artdoxa/com/users/thedoodys/artworks/13119)


Sure, people have made full investigations into the autonomy of colors, their stand-alone qualities, their own “originalities”, and here I do not attempt to lay out judgements of good or bad or ugly. However, those investigations rarely interest me to the point of elation or anything. And I must admit I never really stoked, even when sitting in person in front of Yves Klein blue, but I guess he was stoked enough to keep moving with it… more power to him. For me, it has always been the dialogue, the internal conversations that exist between aspects of a work. The conversations that all at once include and exclude you, that are explicit or rather undefined – the space between what I hear and what it is I think I have heard.

And this is where I can agree with Michael Pointer and Charles Zigmund (Why more Dadaism? – by Charles Zigmund; ( – that art (lets call it for the sake of fun neo-dadaistic) seems , at times, at least from my point of view, to lack something. But I’m not going to try and say it is a formulatable thing which I can point out, nor am I going to put forth that artists choose to use “ready made” materials because of lack of talent – that is far too narrow a view. Or that there is some power struggle set up between the users of found goods (which, I should point out, includes any one buying pre-ground pigmented paints and store bought brushes) and the purist “fine artists” who can create out of pure “original geniousity”. I believe that each and every one of us truly sets up context and dialogue for one another, like some simple base equation.


“Each and every one of us truly sets up context and dialogue for one another…” – Jorden Blue and David James Doody, “even as a young boy…”, 2008 (


However, I do feel (and this may just be a bit of pessimism locked deep down in my core, extending outwards far beyond just my feelings on artists and art works, on to the world at large…) a lot of people lack a sense of heart in what they do, a lack of conviction, perhaps futility – as if their actions have no real consequence and make no real difference. And that in itself saddens me a bit, but I guess not that much…

I like to believe there is some kind of resonance that can be felt as some kind of truth to honesty, following that honesty somwhere along some kind of path… and that is something I really sense from your short introduction and conversation with Jochen Hein ( ). Although I’m very much in a different space than he in so many ways, I felt I could really identify with something there. He suggested a personal search – and relation of that search – through art and the potential of residual transcendence ( and experience captivated or at least related to in the making of art.

All the same, this is turning out more of a rant than anything else. Hah! Go figure… bad habits die hard… I’m going back to my toasted pecans which seem to have burned…



(Photos: HEINZ Chili con Carne – Peter Bies, all rights reserved;
“right window (detail-3)” and “even as a young boy…” – Jorden Blue and David James Doody, all rights reserved)

Why more Dadaism? — by Charles Zigmund


The Author 




For nearly fifty years, since Pop Art began and dethroned the “high art” seriousness of Abstract Expressionism as a manifestation of elitism, the inheritance of Dadaism has ruled the art world. This philosophy, promulgated first 100 years ago by Marcel Duchamp and his colleagues, declares that art in the prior sense of a directed, purposeful activity separate from and “above” everyday reality, is an outmoded concept. Everyday reality in all its ordinariness is to be considered the same thing as art. Commercial propaganda and found objects, indeed everything under the sun including one’s own excreta, are anointed, primarily by the artist’s choice and use of them, into art. We are invited to rethink one at a time a plethora of our assumptions about reality and life through contemplation of these objects and their relations to the world as the artist re-presents them to us. Although superficially the manifestations of this idea are as wide-ranging and varied as one !

 could wish, in reality the anti-art idea unifies them under the surface into more or less one thing. 


This is a defensible and pregnant idea, but my purpose here is to question why it has become so totally pervasive in contemporary art. I can think of no other single idea in modern art which has held decisive sway for fifty years. It seems to me rather that Dada and its many heirs have become a new ossified academy, very akin to the Academy in France against which the Impressionists rebelled in freeing art for the first time from mechanical conformity and in creating the modern movement. It is a long time since I have found any excitement in seeing found objects in new contexts, because the practice has by now beome so stale and formulaic. Even were some new work in this vein now to have the undoubted impact of, say, a work by Beuys, one would question the conformity of the artist in producing a new work undergirded by such a shopworn concept. Have we not come to the point where every artist semiconsciously looks over her/his shoulder for the approval of the virtual Dada pol!

 ice before conceiving any work? Does she or he not ask whether the piece has the requisite little jolt of the “proper” anti-art concept before finishing it? And when a concept is considered “proper” and “necessary” for fifty years have we not come to the negation of the freedom and creativity which are considered the raison d’etre of art?


A mine of conceptions which has been worked over so long and exhaustively, its every conceivable vein, nook and cranny the object of the pickaxes and dynamite of hundreds of artists, has to my mind surely outlived its usefulness. 


If we look to other media besides the purely visual, we see that the idea of art as something apart from and “above” reality, something special and rare, a meaningful distillation of emotion, intellect and energy, a work of art which is seriously a work of art, not merely an anti-art comment —  does not lack force at this time, Duchamps and John Cage notwithstanding. Everything from rock and soul music to serious cinema to HBO dramatic series to dance to the Chinese Olympic opening ceremony demonstrates that art can still have vitality and meaning outside the dadaistic formula of anti-art. In architecture we see life-affirming vitality. We need not philosophise to posit this pro-art, rather than anti-art, reality in current society, since such art obviously currently, and vitally, exists. Philosophy should attempt to explain this reality, not substitute for it. We must then ask again why painting, sculpture and installation are so mired in this antiquated anti-art conce!



I have no prescription for the direction or directions art should take in the new century to shake off this dust-covered, cob-webbed influence. (In my own work, I present what I believe is a valid new path, but I would not presume to prescribe it for others.) I do believe, however, that whatever the outcome or outcomes, we badly need some new thinking which puts Dada where it belongs – in the history books.  


© 2008 Charles Zigmund