#140hBerlin // Man Bartlett
Ausstellung // 12. - 18. Mai 2011
#140hBerlin is Man Bartlett’s retake on the German artist Joseph Beuys’ infamous ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’ performance piece. Joseph Beuys travelled to America in 1974, the artistic promised land, to be covered in felt, being brought to a gallery in an ambulance, and to spend three days inside, part of which with a wild coyote.
Replace "ambulance" with "Hummer," "coyote" with "Bald Eagle," "felt" with "American flag" and "three days" with "140 hours," in other words inject the performance with overtly American symbolism in place of Beuys’ more subtle, shamanic attributes and we have the seeds of this project.
May 12th 2011 is the start date for the performance. It will also mark what would have been Beuys' 90th birthday. Beuys was born in Krefeld, Germany, but over the last few years there has been a lot of talk of what's happening in Berlin. How affordable it is, the artistic possibilities, etc. It is a strange and absurd way of experiencing such an artopian environment, as the artist will not actually see Berlin at all. Rather he will spend 140 hours in a gallery thinking and tweeting about "home," while broadcasting his stay over the Internet. 140 hours is four hours short of 6 days (twice as long as the original performance). This time is chosen for the connection to the character limit of a Twitter message.
An essential part of the performance is formed by feed, which is the New York City twin to #140hBerlin, at Invisible Exports gallery. By offering peanuts and the ability to experience a live stream of the performance in Berlin to physical viewers in New York, feed draws attention to a culture of indulgent consumption and hyper-connectivity.
Access to the live stream is gained by presenting the correct password. However, anyone using Twitter will be able to see and participate in the more ephemeral aspects of the performance using the hashtag #140hBerlin.
From May 12th to 18th, 2011, #140hBerlin will be viewable at Freies Museum, Potsdamer Straße 91, Berlin and online at: manbartlett.com/140hBerlin
Man Bartlett (b. 1981) is an interdisciplinary artist who currently lives and works in New York City. Since January 2010 he has created durational performances that incorporate social media in venues, galleries and institutions including a Best Buy, PPOW Gallery, #class at Winkleman Gallery, and The Whitney Museum, among others.