six degrees of memories, decisions, potentials
Clifford E. Bruckmann
August 29th – October 11th 2020
*image: Rebrand, Clifford E. Bruckmann, dimensions variable, 2020
Photos by Michal Florence Schorro Courtesy of unanimous consent and the artist
Small, small world. The fact that all of us relate to each and everyone through a handful of social acquaintances might suggest empathetic togetherness across the globe. Yet it remains questionable whether and how true understanding may result from all these connections.
Cuddly blankets hanging from the ceilings ask to be wrapped around one‘s body. Their arrangement inside the space suggests something like privacy while not entirely obstructing the view on the other pools as well as the slogans and taglines printed on the neighboring blankets. The vertically sequenced text snippets cre- ate short dramaturgies which might tempt us to read deeper meaning into them. Perhaps persistent adhe- rence could make it possible to bathe in one‘s own whirlpool, to enjoy the cuddly backs of the blankets and the good life in general?
Yet the situation has a synthetic, almost hollow feel to it: nothing here is made by hand. With the climate being thoroughly chlorinated and humid, the air seems stuffy despite the spaciousness.
Unused potential and unredeemed possibilities are the starting point to many of Clifford E. Bruckmann‘s examinations. Slogans that could be thought of as meaningful in themselves, in accumulation become flat caricatures of possible underlying value identities. A whirlpool seems all too attainable for a luxury good, and hooking into networks serves neither as a substitute for, nor a guarantee of genuine communication. Degenerating into a charade of mere illusory alternatives to the ever-repeating sequence of the world, the idea of utopia oddifies into the dystopian. Thus, Bruckmann probes the Gordian knot of a generation that has inherited a world held together by the invalidated hopes of past times.
Isn’t any undertaking futile under these conditions?
Yet, by relentlessly pursuing utopias which he has already reduced to absurdity beforehand, Bruckmann opens up a space for possible action beyond the paradigms of success and failure. In doing so, he reveals a new approach towards possibilities of communication, of finding a common language and the question to whom this should ultimately serve.
„life. people. powerful connections.“
A bunch of WiFi routers immediately ask to connect. In the background, the noise of whirlpools’ contents bubbling along at lukewarm temperature.
Mind if I take a quick dip?
text: Ilona Stutz & Lukas Züblin
Clifford E. Bruckmann (*1987, Zurich) lives and works in Zurich und Brussels