Week 5: Reinigungsgesellschaft

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 focusing on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Henrik Mayer and Martin Keil from REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, (whose German implications range from “Cleaning Service” to “Purification Society”), an “artistic venture” as they call it, working “at the point of intersection between art and social reality”. Of course art is itself a social reality, though the mainstream artworld encourages artists to remain aloof from other realities, representing them, exploiting them as material, rather than merging with them. Reingungsgesellschaft, however, operates in open, project-oriented collaboration, taking the form of autonomous organisations. They place unresolved social questions at the heart of their practice, integrating critical content into advertising-style strategies, which differentiate themselves from traditional product or target-group promotional models. Through their work with partners from different fields of human endeavour, inventing platforms for non-disciplinary activities, they use art as an art-specific form of social inquiry (“The Readymade Demonstration”), and a catalyst of social and economic processes. The collective’s work method seeks to connect different spheres of society and, potentially, to find other, more substantive life-sustaining environments for both art-making and art-doing.