In many parts of the world, people are currently confronted with numerous instructions such as put on a mask', 'keep your distance', 'disinfect your hands'. La Raum has taken this as an opportunity to think about instructions in general and to ask for instruction based art for the current situation via an ongoing open call.
In everyday language, instructions are detailed information about how something should be done, binding guidelines or direct orders. The instructions can be in writing, orally or by drawing. Every instruction has the possibility of interpretation up to the refusal of the executor. Since the 1960s, artists such as Yoko Ono, John Cage or Sol LeWitt have made use of this fact and actively involved the audience through instructions, notations, performances and happenings, which turned the participants from passive art consumers into active interpreters of the instructions. The actual execution is then left to the person who carries out the instruction.
In the first round of '!? Instructions—>'' we show positions by artists from different countries. From Charlotte Pfeifer's (D) sharp-sighted and humorous 'Instruktionen am Montag', a 5-part video podcast with instructions and presentations of audience submissions, to Hannes Egger's (I)profoundly ironic "Windowperformance" (audio piece), which uses stylistic elements of a musically underscored wellness meditation generating subtile inner images, via purely textual instructions such as Soiba Zaidi's (Pakistan) poetic, melancholic 'a boredom choreography', in which one imagines one's favorite table neighbor, freedom seeking works such as 'back to nasty' from Kattalin Newiger Mitxelena (D), works with a politically demanding character such as 'voice extender' by Benno Gaen Mais (Belgium) up to anarchist works such as 'Instruction' by R. Prost (USA), an ultimately impracticable instruction: If you carried out this to the end, you would hurt yourself.
With their different tone, background and character, from pleading, poetic, cheerful, ironic, demanding, strict to anarchistic, the works invite you to reflect on instructions generally, including their inherent scope for action and, on the other hand, throw light on topics such as isolation, distance, resilience that the artists deal with in their work.
The exhibition can be seen online and offline. Anyone wishing to visit the exhibition on site will receive personal "visit instructions" from La Raum.