Claes Oldenburg The Store Geschichte der Skulptur

Konsumgut in der Kunstwelt als Druckversion (PDF mit Abb. u. Fn. 2.019 KB)

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Das Konsumgut in der Kunstwelt – Zur Para-Ökonomie der amerikanischen Pop Art

in: Shopping. 100 Jahre Kunst und Konsum, hrsg. von Max Hollein und Christoph Grunenberg, Katalog Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt/M., Ostfildern-Ruit 2002, S. 148-153.

Abschnitt II

„Ich empfinde es als ganz natürlich“, sagte Claes Oldenburg, „unter den Bedingungen der amerikanischen, technischen Zivilisation zu arbeiten. Ich kenne die jeweiligen Effekte, die jeweiligen Resultate der technischen Arbeitsverfahren, und ich glaube sie zu kontrollieren.“ So nüchtern das klingen mag, so hartnäckig glaubte Oldenburg zugleich an den alten Traum von einer Versöhnung von Kunst und Leben. Erreichen wollte er sie durch die Versöhnung von Mensch und Ding. „Die Erhöhung der Sensibilität über das, was die bürgerlichen Werte definieren“, sagt Oldenburg, „wird hoffentlich den Begriff der Kunst zerstören und dem Objekt seine Kraft zurückgeben. Dann wird die dem Universum innewohnende Magie wiederhergestellt sein, und die Menschen werden in sympathetischem religiösem Austausch stehen mit den Dingen, die sie umgeben. Sie werden sich nicht mehr von ihnen geschieden fühlen, und das Schisma zwischen beseelt und unbeseelt wird aufgehoben sein.“ Oldenburg kritisierte die Entfremdung des Alltags vom Leben ebenso wie die Entfremdung der Kunst vom Alltag. Dagegen stellte er einen „unförmigen“ Universalismus, der alles mit allem in Beziehung setzt, sein Wunschbild einer – wie er sagte – „erotisch-politisch-mystischen“ Kunst.
1961 eröffnete er in seinem Atelier in New Yorks Lower East Side einen Laden, The Store, in dessen weiterem Zusammenhang auch der Lingerie Counter entstand. Der Laden war nicht nur Verkaufsort, sondern auch Produktionsstätte. Zu kaufen gab es das gesamte Spektrum des Alltagsbedarfs, so wie es auch die überfüllten Läden der Nachbarschaft anboten, von Nahrungsmitteln über Kleider und Schuhe bis zu Papeteriewaren. Alles bestand aus demselben Material, gipsüberzogenem Musselin, und war starkfarbig und quasi-expressionistisch bemalt. Oldenburgs Wirklichkeitsdarstellung bewegte sich auf mehreren Ebenen. Sie betraf zunächst die Alltagsobjekte selbst, noch wichtiger aber war ihm die „Nachahmung“ der unterschiedlichen Tätigkeitsfelder, die ihm erlaubte, Konditor, Schneider, Brautausstatter, Metzger, Schildermaler und Schuhmacher in einem zu werden. Als Verkäufer oblag ihm auch die Distribution des Hergestellten. Die anvisierte „politische“ Dimension seiner Kunst lag folglich darin, inmitten der amerikanischen arbeitsteiligen Gesellschaft zum nicht-entfremdeten Handwerker-Dasein der vorkapitalistischen Wirtschaft zurückzukehren. In der Kunst-Welt des Store gab es kein Ding, das er potenziell nicht hätte produzieren und verkaufen können – allerdings um den Preis der Übertragung der Dinge in Kunst: der einzelnen Waren in unverzehrbare und dysfunktionale Plastiken, des Ladens als Ganzem in ein „Environment“. Alle Objekte waren, wie gesagt, aus demselben Material, ob es sich um einen Briefumschlag, eine Wurst oder einen Turnschuh handelte. Auch die Oberflächen waren durchweg ähnlich, alles wies dieselbe schrundige, durch die glänzende Farbe geglättete Oberfläche auf, alles erschien leicht deformiert, angeschmolzen und verklumpt. Einige der Gegenstände inszenierte Oldenburg als Relief. Sie trugen einen Teil eines unbestimmten Grundes mit sich, vor dem sie sich präsentierten, schienen wie herausgebrochen aus einem größeren, imaginären Zusammenhang. Das Kontinuum, das sich zwischen den Dingen auszubilden begann, ergab sich nicht aus den Objekten selbst – was haben Turnschuhe und Würste schon gemeinsam –, sondern aus der gleich bleibenden plastischen Behandlung. Sie verwandelte die Varianz der Objekte und Materialien in einen Kosmos „vom selben Fleisch“. Der Store war, wie Oldenburg sagte, eine „super texture supercollage“, ein aus- und übergreifender, pulsierender Organismus.
Oldenburgs osmotische Warenwelt lockerte die Relation von Zeichen und Bezeichnetem, in ihrer uniformen Unförmigkeit war das einzelne Ding plötzlich mehrere Dinge zugleich. Die Notizen und Skizzen zum Store enthalten Listen von Form-Entsprechungen, welche die Ordnung, die sie zu schaffen vorgeben, zugleich einstürzen lassen. Gemäß Oldenburg „entsprechen sich“ Haare und Speck; Ohrringe, Flugzeugräder, Büstenhalter und Brüste; Obelisk und Bügelbrett; Wurst im Brötchen, Flugzeug und gerollte Zeitung; Hut, Lippen, Banana Split und Pistole; usw. Die „Entformung“ des einzelnen Objekts und die Ablösung von Nutzungszusammenhängen eröffnet neuartige Anschlussmöglichkeiten für gänzlich disparate Dinge. Sexuelles liegt diesem Verschiebungsprozess zugrunde. „Das Erotische oder das Sexuelle ist die Wurzel der Kunst, ihr erster Impuls“, sagte Oldenburg. „Hier und heute, wo ich lebe, in Amerika, ist die Sexualität mehr auf Substitute gerichtet, zum Beispiel mehr auf Kleider denn auf die Person, auf fetischistisches Zeug, und das gibt dem Objekt eine Intensität, die ich zu nutzen suche.“ Das Begehren des mythischen Bildhauers Pygmalions richtete sich auf seine Marmorskulptur einer Jungfrau; Aphrodite erbarmte sich, beseelte sie und gab sie Pygmalion zur Frau. Oldenburgs Begehren richtete sich auf Eiscornetti und Mikrofone, auf Badekleider und Bratenstücke. Die „Braut“, die es im Store ebenfalls zu kaufen gab, war weder körperlicher noch begehrenswerter als der Turnschuh, in allem steckte dieselbe sexuelle Energie. So brachte Oldenburg nicht nur das System kapitalistischer Arbeitsteilung zum Einsturz, sondern auch die gezielte Fetischisierung der Warenwelt, die das Marketing zwecks besserer Verkäuflichkeit errichtete. Seine Besetzung der Objektwelt war ebenso total wie ebenmäßig in seiner Intensität. „Store: 1. Eros. 2. Stomach. 3. Memory. Enter my Store“, fordert er uns in Store Days auf.
Dem Ziel der Annäherung von Kunst und Leben näherte sich Oldenburg, indem er deren jeweilige Energien ineinander fließen ließ. Sein die Dinge belebender „Animismus“ steht in der Tradition der Plastik, die seit jeher mit der Dialektik von unbeseelter Materie und lebendiger, „beseelter“ Wirkung arbeitete. Diese Energie koppelt er mit der Begehrensstruktur des Warenfetischismus zu seiner „erotisch-politisch-mystischen“ Kunst. Oldenburgs Store hob die Tradition der Plastik auf, indem er sie bewahrte und zugleich liquidierte. Die „Anthropomorphisierung“ der Dingwelt führte die Tradition der Plastik fort, die sich über Jahrhunderte fast ausschließlich der menschlichen Figur widmete. Zugleich wurde sie von dieser thematischen Fixierung abgelöst, die angesichts einer zunehmend nicht von Menschen, sondern von Dingen geprägten Lebenswelt unzeitgemäß zu werden begann.

Abschnitt I
Punkt Konsumgut in der Kunstwelt Abschnitt II
Pfeil Konsumgut in der Kunstwelt Abschnitt III
Abschnitt IV
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Konsumgut in der Kunstwelt als Druckversion (PDF mit Abb. u. Fn. 2.019 KB)

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