Bruce Nauman Umberto Eco das offene Kunstwerk

Die eigentliche Tätigkeit als Druckversion (PDF mit Abb. u. Fn. 869 KB)

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Die eigentliche Tätigkeit. Aktion und Erfahrung bei Bruce Nauman

in: Auf der Schwelle. Kunst, Risiken und Nebenwirkungen, hrsg. von Erika Fischer-Lichte, Robert Sollich, Sandra Umathum und Matthias Warstat, München 2006, S. 57-74.

Kapitel II: Nauman und das „offene Kunstwerk“

Auf diese Weise wird Nauman zum Testfall eines Konzeptes, das für die Beschreibung der Beziehung zwischen Künstler, Werk und Betrachter in der Kunst seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg klassisch geworden ist: Umberto Ecos Konzept des „offenen Kunstwerks“. In den Aufsätzen, die unter diesem Titel 1962 auf italienisch und 1977 auf deutsch erschienen, untersuchte Eco, was er als die „operativen Strukturen“ der modernen Kunst bezeichnete. Unter Struktur verstand Eco das Relationssystem zwischen den unterschiedlichen Werkebenen – semantischen, syntaktischen, physischen, emotiven oder thematischen. Den Begriff der Struktur unterschied er dabei vom Begriff der Form: Jene sei die bereits aufgefasste Form und umfasse sowohl die strukturellen Beziehungen im Werk als auch die strukturierte Antwort des Betrachters darauf. Mit der Offenheit des offenen Kunstwerks war keineswegs ein subjekt- und erlebnisorientiertes ‚anything goes‘, weder die Offenheit des Kunstbegriffs noch die Bedeutungsoffenheit des Werks gemeint. Stattdessen ging es Eco um eine Poetik zeitgenössischer Kunstwerke, die zeigen sollte, auf welche Weise Bedeutung hier anders erzeugt werde als in der traditionellen Kunst. Eco betonte, dass nicht jedes offene Kunstwerk dasselbe bedeute und Offenheit nicht schon die Bedeutung sei, um die es gehe. Die Tendenz zu Mehrdeutigkeit und Unbestimmtheit deutete er weder negativ als Spiegelung einer Gegenwartskrise noch positiv als Ausdruck eines neuen Menschentyps, der zur ständigen Horizonterweiterung und Erneuerung seiner Erkenntnisschemata bereit sei. Das zentrale Argument war vielmehr, dass sich Bedeutung nicht im Werk selbst finden lasse, sondern in dessen „kommunikativen Strukturen“, die man klären müsse, bevor die Bedeutung und der geschichtliche Ort eines Kunstwerks bestimmt werden könnten. Diese zeigten sich in der je spezifischen Art, das semantische, syntaktische, physische und emotive Material zu strukturieren, sowie in der Art und Weise, wie der Betrachter in die Strukturierung einbezogen werde. Die Betonung, Offenheit sei ein Medium der Bedeutungserzeugung und nicht schon die Bedeutung selbst, scheint mir wesentlich zu sein, vor allem weil sie darauf hinweist, dass es ganz unterschiedliche Offenheiten, Unbestimmtheiten und Mehrdeutigkeiten gibt, die jeweils in ihrer Eigenart erkannt werden müssen. Die Offenheit wird vom Werk gleichsam konturiert und gefärbt, das heißt in einer bestimmten Weise allererst erzeugt.
An zwei Punkten scheint mir Ecos Ansatz allerdings problematisch zu sein. Die soeben genannte Variationsmöglichkeit in der Bedeutung von Offenheit schränkte Eco sehr stark ein. Ganz unabhängig von der konkreten Erscheinungsweise begriff er das offene Kunstwerk als „epistemologische Metapher“ für die Art und Weise, in der die moderne Kultur und Wissenschaft ihre Welt sähen. Die Eigenart des modernen Kunstwerks, ein Möglichkeitsfeld zu eröffnen, verknüpfte er mit nach-newtonscher Physik, Relativitäts- und Feldtheorie. Diesbezüglich schrieb er der Kunst eine pädagogische Funktion zu. Ihre Leistung erkannte er darin, uns bei der Einübung in diese neuen wissenschaftlichen Realitäten zu helfen. Gemäß Eco stellt sich das offene Kunstwerk die Aufgabe, uns ein Bild von der Diskontinuität zu geben, und zwar weniger durch deren Darstellung als vielmehr dadurch, dass es diese als Kunstwerk verkörpere. Damit vermittle es zwischen den abstrakten Kategorien des zeitgenössischen wissenschaftlichen Weltbildes und der lebendigen Materie unserer Sinnlichkeit. Diese bedeutungsmäßige und funktionale Schließung der Offenheit des Kunstwerks als Spiegel der physikalisch gedeuteten Welt und zugleich als pädagogisches Instrument, diese sinnlich erfassen zu können, steht im Widerspruch zur eigenen Ermahnung, zunächst die je eigenen kommunikativen Strukturen der einzelnen Kunstwerke zu untersuchen, bevor über deren Bedeutung und geschichtlichen Ort entschieden werde. Nicht die Auffassung des Kunstwerks als epistemologische Metapher erscheint mir problematisch – ich werde selbst am Ende dieses Textes Naumans Kunst als eine solche Metapher zu deuten versuchen -, sondern die Einschränkung des metaphorischen Verweisens auf diesen einen Bereich.
Der zweite problematische Punkt betrifft Ecos Begriff der Offenheit selbst. Sie erscheint bei ihm nur in dem Maße als offen, in dem sie in der Kommunikation zwischen Werk und Betrachter geschlossen werden kann – so schwierig das im einzelnen Falle sein mag. Eco ging es um Bestimmungsleistungen im Horizont eines nur zunächst Unbestimmten. Eine Offenheit, die sich nicht schließen lässt, zog er nicht in Betracht – eine Offenheit, die in genau der Weise offen bliebe, wie das Unbewusste notwendig unbewusst bleiben muss.
In beiden Punkten unterscheidet sich die Offenheit von Naumans Kunst von derjenigen, die Eco im Auge hat. Auch bei seinen Arbeiten geht es um die Relation von Subjekt und Werk, die, indem sie uns dazu auffordert, die verschiedenen Signifikanten modellierend und strukturierend aufeinander zu beziehen, als Metapher der Relation von Subjekt und Welt begriffen werden kann. Sobald wir jedoch in die „kommunikativen Strukturen“ des Werks eintreten, eröffnet sich bei Nauman darüber hinaus eine Offenheit anderer Art. Sie betrifft nicht die Welt, sondern den anderen Pol in der Interaktion von Subjekt und Werk, nämlich das Subjekt selbst. Nauman erzielt diese zweite Öffnung, indem zentrale Arbeiten seines Œuvres als Instrumente der Selbstbeobachtung angelegt sind. Im Prozess derselben spaltet sich das Subjekt in eine Innen- und Außenperspektive auf, die zueinander in ein irreduzibel offenes Verhältnis treten. Die Werke lassen erfahrbar werden, dass das das Subjekt für sich selbst nur als Anderer, nicht aber als Subjekt beobachtbar ist, mit anderen Worten: dass das Subjekt zum blinden Fleck seiner eigenen Wahrnehmung wird. Diese für Naumans Werke kennzeichnende „operative Struktur“ (Eco) sei im Folgenden an einigen aktions- oder handlungsbezogenen Arbeiten konkretisiert.

Kapitel I: Aktivität und Passion
Punkt Bruce Nauman Kapitel II: Nauman und das „offene Kunstwerk“
Bruce Nauman Pfeil Kapitel III: Vom Werk zur Performance
Kapitel IV: Von der Performance zur Installation
Kapitel V: Das Spiel (mit) der Subjektivität
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Die eigentliche Tätigkeit als Druckversion (PDF mit Abb. u. Fn. 869 KB)

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