"Hats off“ is the fourth cooperative project of artists Christof Zwiener (*1972) and Baldur Burwitz (*1971) working under the name POISON IDEA. Their focus is the exhibition space itself as well as the audience, which unknowingly and sometimes unconsciously plays a part in the creation of the work.
As an integral component of their performances for each opening, Zwiener and Burwitz organize a party with a bar and a DJ, punk music and beer, which is no mere celebration but rather forms the core of the project. While the visitors talk, dance and drink, waiting for “something” to happen, the artists unobtrusively alter the room. This change begins gradually, slowly becomes more pronounced and finally reaches a concrete ending point, at which the installation is “complete.” The project thus plays with the elimination of the exhibition space while at the same time creating a scenario that can be understood as a performative and sculptural statement.
Their first project was first carried out in May 2003 in the project room of the School of Fine Arts in Braunschweig. Zwiener and Burwitz constructed a second, smaller room using plywood planks inside the existing space. During the course of the evening the back wall of the room was pushed forward using a remote-controlled forklift. This at first barely noticeable movement gradually increased until, at the end of four hours, the bar and dance floor had entirely disappeared.
The second performance, called “Dicke Brummer” (“Big Buzz”) took Zwiener and Burwitz to the “Elektrohaus” off-space in Hamburg. A box containing 11,000 flies was installed above the bar and the DJ stand, which were blown from their hiding place using a fan. While the room in Braunschweig was made smaller through mechanical means and thus automatically emptied out, the partiers in Hamburg were driven from the dance floor in disgust by the onslaught of flies.
For the traditional autumn show of the Hannover Art League, POISON IDEA presented their third and most spectacular project "Was“ ("What“) in the Kunsthalle Faust. As in the other performances, a room within a room was constructed. As the party was in full swing, 10 hired rockers suddenly burst in and destroyed the room, DJ stand, stereo, speakers, bar and all within seconds, until everything was reduced to rubble.
In the Galerie Olaf Stüber POISON IDEA will present their fourth performance. The audience can look forward to a unique mode of participation, one that is both subtle and amusing.