Blum & Poe, Santa Monica
April 27–May 29, 1995
From April 27 through May 29, Blum & Poe will exhibit an installation by Rainer Ganahl.
"'IMPORTED - A READING SEMINAR' in relationship with my 'A Portable (Not so Ideal) Imported Library, Or How to Reinvent the Coffee Table: 25 Books for instant Use (Californian Version),'" 1995 (photographs, 40 hours of videotape, photocopies and 25 books) is an art work that Rainer Ganahl produced together with students and teachers from Otis College of Art and Design and California Institute of the Arts while staying in Los Angeles for five weeks. This work is part of a series of national projects that, in addition to California, also includes the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Japan and Russia. In all of these different cases a small selection of texts from different versions of his 25 imported theoretical books are worked through together with students within a pedagogical framework.
The exhibition will also present his Russian Version of the "IMPORTED - A READING SEMINAR....." which he just completed in Moscow from February to April of this year in the Russian, English and French languages. Works on paper and photographs dealing with the artist's study of Basic Russian, Basic Japanese and Basic Modern Greek as his art practice will also be included. Ganahl has been engaged intensively with this project for the past five years.
Strategic reading, studying and teaching as an art practice addresses questions of the formation of subjectivity for Ganahl as well as his classroom participants. In addition, his projects evoke serious problematics of cultural and linguistic hegemonies and dependencies in an international climate of uneven exchange where information, knowledge and power coincide. In a strategically dilettantish way, Ganahl's "traveling linguistics" and his amateurish academia in mobile knock on a window of an oppressive complex that is made up of post-imperial politics, power, knowledge and administration.
Rainer Ganahl, born in Austria and living in New York, has exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions including: Dallas Museum of Art; Person's Weekend Museum, Tokyo; Philomene Magers Galerie, Cologne; Galerie Roger Pailhas, Paris, Marseille; Randy Alexander, New York; Nordanstad Gallery, New York; Massimo DeCarlo, Milan; Folkwang Museum, Essen (Germany).