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Von Bartha - New Ideas for Other Times, 08.03. to 18.05.2024


New ideas for other times. Do we need new ideas? Generally speaking. Or could we perhaps simply play through ideas that already exist? What is new? Or the "other" in today's world. Is there something inherently and ontologically new? Well, AI certainly isn't. Nor is virtual reality. Plato already had the idea.
What are these new ideas? Artistic ideas? And what are the other times? War, inequality and exploitation? That's not new, it's just better documented...

But now the slogan "New Ideas for Other Times" is emblazoned in large neon letters in the spring sun in the window of the Von Bartha Gallery on Kannenfeldplatz. The illuminated objects are a work by Maurizio Nannucci from 2005 and are also the title of the group exhibition in the gallery. However, the exhibition itself proves marvellously that we don't need many new ideas. Relatively old ideas, such as the video installation "Fractal Flasher" by Nam June Paik, which is already 30 years old, seem like completely adequate commentaries on contemporary moments. The works by Joachim Bandau, some of which are up to 65 years old and should therefore be retiring this year, seem similarly topical. But their intangible and deeply uncanny physicality perhaps speaks more to us today than it did to the artist's contemporaries.

The ideas are all there.The times are not really different.Perhaps we simply need to select better ideas for better times from the range of ideas that have been collected over the centuries.Perhaps the real problem today is that the ideas are cobbled together at conference tables for marketing purposes.There they are prettily packaged and re-packaged in a corporate identity-friendly way and sold as ground-breaking innovations.
But Von Bartha is well aware of this practice of old ideas in new guises.In one of their meeting rooms, another illuminated work hangs above the conference table."We are Having the Time of Our Lives" proclaims this LED work by SUPERFLEX.How wonderfully cynical the luminosity of the letters burns into the retina while you are bent over last year's and quarterly reports looking for new ideas to help you in other times.