Punch & Judy
Anna Romanenko, Florian Clewe, Leon Filter, Björn Kühn, Gabriel Hensche, Adrianna Liedtke

Casual Friday

how to reach for the bird’s tail
how to observe
how to white balance
how to become an amateur librarian
how to make up the rules as you go along
how to read a function
how to go for a walk
how to cross-bake
how to thunder
how to put up an egg
how to make an attachment

Casual Friday is an expedition beyond the latitude of artistic practice to find out if there is such a place and if not, to reinvent it. We place this space on the periphery of the widened circuits of skill and authorship and install it as the central place of action. The expedition’s medium is conversation; a conversation perpetually attempting to create and access this place of action.

Asked to be the outside eye and curate a show with the fellows of Akademie Schloss Solitude, we considered ways and means of a possible collaboration. We didn’t know how to deal with these things. So we decided to take a turn beyond proficiency, trying to find out how the fellows did not know how to deal with things, and made this investigation a strategy. What do they do if they encounter a blockage or simply don’t work on their art? Is it possible to localize this separating line? How do they manage this separation and how are the practices and skills on either side of it intertwined? Do they inform each other, and if so, in what way? Or is this question offensive, as it is commonplace that art and life are eventually the same thing and failing to bring them together means failing as an artist?

Casual Friday is thus a forlorn rescue mission operating along the lines of the artist’s skill and on the margins of production, trying to get to that lost space where leisure and weekends – as well as forms of inhibition and obstruction or even that anachronistic idea of the hobby – once resided.

To start the conversation, we put our concern in an address to the fellows.

Punch & Judy + Katharina Bendixen

how to reach for the bird’s tail

The video shows the writer Katharina Bendixen and Punch & Judy doing Tai Chi. A practice about patience she started when and where the novel took place, that she was working on at that time.

Punch & Judy + Geumhyung Jeong

how to observe

Punch & Judy + Juna Suleiman

how to white balance

excerpts from a conversation between Juna Suleiman and Punch & Judy, July 6, 2013, at 5:27 pm


Juna: But editing is so much fun. So frustrating because of technicalities, but it is like the fun process of making something. And there are million ways to do it and until you find a way .... it also teaches a lot about the relationship with yourself, because it becomes like a direct metaphor of a relationship with a person or with oneself. Because, I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but Avid is a highly complicated thing, very very complicated and it’s sometimes like dealing with a psychopath and it teaches passions, it teaches ways around situations [...]. All the time I have little mistakes that fucked up all my work. Because I copied one clip from one sequence to another I get these debugger things, like many times [...]. Because the copy was not correct or there was an extra dissolve [...] that takes you away from the material, takes you away from the fun of doing it, but then there is a result, maybe.


Juna: But what are you interested in after all this talk? If you’re interested in the making of an element.

Anna: We are interested in [...] or I’m interested in this white balance thing connected to forgetting things in general. Maybe we see it some time?

Juna: I have white balance in the bathroom, white balance in the kitchen and in the ... living room empty, also in the living room with her during the day. Most of white balance that I did was at night. And there was that funny one with my mother on the iPhone and her bed in the room. I think if I’m not wrong that I removed the white paper and you see a frame actually after this one. But all of them – it begins with a white paper, removed, background [...]. This is the method. I put a white paper on a cardboard and –... but it’s done in such a funny way. It’s completely unprofessional. It’s like someone who is trying to be professional in a very pretentious way.


Florian: But I think you have a special part of this exhibition. Because with the other guys we found a way to do things together ....

Anna: Maybe we still will.

Florian: Yeah, yeah. But I like this – the white balance and the social balance that it is displayed in this way. You don’t have to be there, don’t have to talk to anybody there.


Punch & Judy + Marcell Mars

how to become an amateur librarian

When everyone is a librarian, the library is everywhere.” (Marcell Mars)

The vision of a memory of the world was taken on by Marcell Mars, who developed a tool that allows everybody to become an amateur librarian of his or her own digital library and share it with others. Punch & Judy became part of this art-protected network by passing on the knowledge about how to be part of this public library.
To become an amateur librarian, please visit http://www.memoryoftheworld.org

Punch & Judy + Sivan Cohen Elias

how to make up the rules as you go along

Sivan Cohen Elias often develops her compositions in the mode of a board game. Together we set random rules to put material and composition practice to the test. The instruments are chosen according to the logic of a child; a child who is astonished when discovering a peculiar stone or a tire lying by the roadside. The playful setting and competitive use of interchangeable objects complete the arbitrary concert.

Punch & Judy + Juan Luis Gastaldi / Mladen Alexiev

how to read a function

Upon approaching philosopher Juan Luis Gastaldi, we learned that he was about to establish a knowledge exchange with theater director Mladen Alexiev. Gastaldi would teach Alexiev everything about math in a nutshell, and, vice versa, Alexiev would teach him about theater. Here we tried to join their conversation.

Punch & Judy + Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi

how to go for a walk

Ngqinambi’s painting series Flag Fragments features masses marching in flaglike formations. Together we went for a walk as a supposedly unexploited mode of marching

Punch & Judy + Anne Kawala

how to cross-bake

from Anne Kawala’s Facebook page:

A few weeks ago, in the yard, Adrianna & Björn, as members of the Punch & Judy team, asked me: “What are your hobbies?” ... My hobbies? I tried to conscientiously answer, but no way. Consequently, my first hobby’s performance, without reading, will happen on St. Love’s day. Let’s see. “Hobbies, obsessions, and fantasies,” August 9, at 8 pm, at Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart.


Punch & Judy + + Peter Jakober / Bill DietzThiago Granato

how to thunder

“Thunder Dome Party bridges the acoustic gap between different kinds of contemporary sound production. Evolving from outside the composition practice, it casts a rainbow shadow on the realm of Neue Musik and embodies its darkening back surface.” (Thunder Dome Party advertising)

Composer and now DJ Peter Jakober invited Bill Dietz and along with Punch & Judy they threw a party whose nature would be of a questionable composition practice.

Punch & Judy + Thiago Granato

how to put up an egg

Punch & Judy

how to make an attachment

Punch & Judy’s speech for the Casual Friday opening at Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, July 19, 2013

Punch & Judy have spent many nights wondering how to deal with things. Things suddenly appearing from the conversations in the past weeks. They did not know how. They had decided not to be worried; they had heard that proficiency was actually vanishing from the field of art. But they were. They were worried.

They had developed an attachment. Attachment to certain things and people. And they felt a responsibility toward them. And they would like to thank them for that.
But they do not know how.

They had tried to eliminate every kind of precondition and sweep out the spaces of conversation over and over again, to open up a field of action; action that would be slightly out of focus.

The elimination of the precondition of any technique also seemed to implicate just another form of strategy whose omnipresence became even more imperative. Thus their self-chosen strategy determined more than they asked for. They had to pay tribute to that.

What remained visible were chapters and chronicles of this effort. Of the effort to create playgrounds for the possibilities of exchange and transmission.

The display is an attachment to this conversation. Using different formats, different conversions of in fact inconvertible material. They feel the urge to apologize for that. But again they do not know how.

This game shows a range of appropriation of conversation. An application of conversion, subversion, and maybe perversion; of attachment and detachment to the topic of work, to the field of the skill and to the body of work of the single artist they had been working with.

They have asked themselves which place they were acting from. Or which specific mode of production they were following. (pause)

But they decided to suspend this question. One thing they had learned was to focus on one thing, but actually concentrate on something else in their periphery. From here Punch & Judy would like to thank the fellows:

Katharina Bendixen, Sivan Cohen Elias, Juan Luis Gastaldi and Mladen Alexiev,
Thiago Granato, Peter Jakober and Bill Dietz, Geumhyung Jeong, Anne Kawala,
Marcell Mars, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Juna Suleiman

as well as Jean-Baptiste Joly, Patrick Ritter, Marlene Perronet, Sophie-Charlotte Thieroff, Iris Dressler, and Hans D. Christ,

Akademie Schloss Solitude and Würtembergischer Kunstverein for their support.

Thank you!

1_+ Katharina Bendixen, + Marcell Mars, + Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, installation view

2_+ Thiago Granato, we are not superficial, we love penetration

3_+ Thiago Granato, we are not superficial, we love penetration

4_+ Anne Kawala, + Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, installation view

5_+ Anne Kawala, Hobbies, Obsessions and Fantasies

6_+ Anne Kawala, installation view

7_+ Juan Luis Gastaldi, + Mladen Alexiev, installation view

8_+ Katharina Bendixen, installation view

9_+ Marcell Mars, How to Become an Amateur Librarian

10_+ Marcell Mars, installation view

11_+ Peter Jakober, + Bill Dietz, Thunder Dome Party

12_+ Peter Jakober, + Bill Dietz, installation view

13_+ Thiago Granato, installation view

14_+ Peter Jakober, + Bill Dietz, installation view

15_Punch & Judy, installing

All images courtesy of Punch & Judy

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