December 1, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Text by Line Ebert
Inge and Rita move through Frankfurt, as a series of unstaged things take place: the carnival, a strike in front of the opera house, a police choir concert with a Tiller Girls interlude, violent demonstrations following the removal of residential houses to build commercial skyscrapers. We learn about the language of public events. The two women are fictional characters in In Danger and Deep Distress, the Middleway Spells Certain Death, Alexander Kluge’s essayistic portrait of a city that is trading away its subconscious possibilities for a fiction of transparency and infrastructure. While Inge sleeps with the police chief, Rita investigates the behavior of the police at a football match. Inge Maier sleeps with men and steals their wallets. Not as prostitution, but as a driving force, a libidinal and capitalistic interest in both the body and exchange. Rita Müller-Eisert is a communist spy on a search for the visible reality of West Germany. She writes lengthy lyrical reports and photographs minor quotidian details. But while her superiors expect collections of useful facts about the west, she misunderstands her task and takes a different approach to documenting the secrets of this other way of living. Facts, she says stubbornly, can be found at any given time in the newspaper. Even when the figure of the spy is clouded by humorous ambivalence, the question she poses to the aesthetic and form of documentation is earnest.
At foot is a proposition regarding a certain kind of indexicality in which the producer, Rita, or now the painter, draws an exterior-interior circumstance into a process of highlighting and editing. Painting as spiritual note taking, staging micro-dramas of something real. Everything important can be found on the pictorial plane, if the frame is ever transgressed, it is not to expose an architectural structure, but rather to say: there is always more but right now this really is it. The palette aligns itself with the present genre of note taking and of making an inventory, not recording what happened, but that something did happen. It takes a synthesis (an Eintopf) to be precise, it takes detours to observe.