I AM A PROBLEM, 2017, installation view MMK 2, directed by Ersan Mondtag, photo: Axel Schneider. Image description: A room, the floor and walls of which are covered with black foil in the front part. The back part of the room is wrapped with yellow foil to the same extent. In the left foreground is a plaster cast of a human being, and on the right black wall two images are projected: On the front one a group of naked people, on the back one the same group of people in colorful clothes. The back yellow part of the room is mostly filled by a black object resembling an oversized worm.
I AM A PROBLEM, 2017, installation view MMK 2, directed by Ersan Mondtag, photo: Axel Schneider. Image description: A room, the floor and walls of which are covered with black foil in the front part. The back part of the room is wrapped with yellow foil to the same extent. In the left foreground is a plaster cast of a human being, and on the right black wall two images are projected: On the front one a group of naked people, on the back one the same group of people in colorful clothes. The back yellow part of the room is mostly filled by a black object resembling an oversized worm.

I AM A PROBLEM

Staged by Ersan Mondtag

The starting point for Mondtag’s concept was a legend about Maria Callas (1923–1977). To achieve her dream figure, the world-famous opera singer supposedly swallowed a tapeworm with a gulp of champagne. As the story has it, she quickly lost a staggering fifty kilograms with the parasite’s aid. Callas’s uncompromising effort to shape her outward appearance according to her ideal image is one of the show’s leitmotifs. The other is the downside of that endeavour – the disintegration of her own body.

For I AM A PROBLEM, Mondtag has transformed the MMK 2 into a scenic parcour. On its serpentine paths, we encounter border crossers and doubles, quiet rebels, failed existences, and bodies fallen prey to the will to optimize. The works range from Andy Warhol’s Kellogg’s Cornflakes Box and a large-scale commissioned piece by Plastique Fantastique to some of the MMK’s most recent acquisitions, for example Will Benedict’s music video I AM A PROBLEM, from which the show takes its title.

With texts by the author Thomaspeter Goergen – recorded by members of the ensemble of Hamburg’s Thalia Theater – Mondtag gives the works voices and renders them performers of their own longings and fears. Usually in the form of arguments, their discussions revolve around existential matters of human existence such as the transformability of one’s own identity, the pursuit of perfection or the transience of organic matter.

Mondtag’s staging reveals how metamorphoses of corporality become symbols of the disintegration processes taking place on the individual and societal level alike. The quest for perfection ultimately leads to aggression, fanaticism and violence. As the parasite relentlessly decomposes its figure-obsessed hostess from within, the bodies’ occupants wage war – with themselves and their surroundings. Because he who is prepared to sacrifice himself is also prepared to sacrifice others.

Featured artists: Kader Attia, Vanessa Beecroft, Will Benedict, Bernhard Johannes Blume, Shannon Bool, Miriam Cahn, John De Andrea, Marlene Dumas, Robert Gober, Douglas Gordon, Ilja Clemens Hendel, Georg Herold, Martin Honert, Jonathan Horowitz, On Kawara, Plastique Fantastique, Teresa Margolles, Barry Le Va, Bruce McLean, Aernout Mik, Lutz Mommartz, Bruce Nauman, Steven Parrino, Arnulf Rainer, Bettina Rheims, Thomas Ruff, Taryn Simon, Dayanita Singh, Markus Sixay, Jack Smith, Elaine Sturtevant, Jürgen Teller, Oliviero Toscani, Rosemarie Trockel, Andy Warhol

Staging and interior design: Ersan Mondtag 
Idea and concept: Peter Gorschlüter, Ersan Mondtag
Text: Thomaspeter Goergen 
Voices: Marie Löcker, Björn Meyer, Thomas Niehaus, Paul Schröder, Cathérine Seifert, André Szymanski, Sebastian Zimmler 
Sound design: Florian Mönks

Exhibition

23 September 2017 — 18 Februar 2018

TOWERMMK

TaunusTurm, Taunustor 1
60310 Frankfurt am Main


  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 11:00 - 18:00
  • Wednesday 11:00 - 19:00
  • Thursday 11:00 - 18:00
  • Friday 11:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday 11:00 - 18:00
  • Sunday 11:00 - 18:00

mmk@stadt-frankfurt.de
+49 69 212 30447

Artists

  • Kader Attia
  • Vanessa Beecroft
  • Will Benedict
  • Bernhard Johannes Blume
  • Shannon Bool
  • Miriam Cahn
  • John De Andrea
  • Marlene Dumas
  • Plastique Fantastique
  • Robert Gober
  • Douglas Gordon
  • Ilja Clemens Hendel
  • Georg Herold
  • Martin Honert
  • Jonathan Horowitz
  • On Kawara
  • Barry Le Va
  • Teresa Margolles
  • Bruce McLean
  • Aernout Mik
  • Lutz Mommartz
  • Bruce Nauman
  • Steven Parrino
  • Arnulf Rainer
  • Bettina Rheims
  • Thomas Ruff
  • Taryn Simon
  • Dayanita Singh
  • Markus Sixay
  • Jack Smith
  • Sturtevant
  • Jürgen Teller
  • Oliviero Toscani
  • Rosemarie Trockel
  • Andy Warhol

Exhibition Views

Sturtevant, Gonzalez Torres Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform), 1995 © Sturtevant; Bettina Rheims, 16 Mars, Paris, 1991 © Bettina Rheims; Lutz Mommartz, Soziale Plastik, 1969 © Lutz Mommartz, photo: Axel Schneider
Sturtevant, Gonzalez Torres Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform), 1995 © Sturtevant;  Bettina Rheims, 16 Mars, Paris, 1991 © Bettina Rheims; Bettina Rheims, Karen Mulder with a very small Chanel bra, 1996 © Bettina Rheims, photo: Axel Schneider
Bettina Rheims, Karen Mulder with a very small Chanel bra, 1996 © Bettina Rheims; Sturtevant, Gonzalez Torres Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform), 1995 © Sturtevant; Kader Attia, Repair Analysis, 2013 Kader Attia, Repair Analysis, 2013 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Douglas Gordon, staying home, 2005 © Studio lost but found / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020; Douglas Gordon, going out, 2005 © Studio lost but found / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020; Kader Attia, Repair Analysis, 2013 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Will Benedict, I am a Problem, 2016 © Will Benedict, photo: Axel Schneider
Will Benedict, I am a Problem, 2016 © Will Benedict, photo: Axel Schneider
Martin Honert, Foto, 1993 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Bruce McLean, Ohne Titel, 1982 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020; Teresa Margolles, Banco, 2004 © Teresa Margolles; Teresa Margolles, El agua en la ciudad, 2004 © Teresa Margolles; Bruce Nauman, Perfect Balance (Pink Andrew with Plug Hanging with TV), 1989 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Thomas Ruff, anderes Porträt Nr. 143 A/14, 1994/1995 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Thomas Ruff, anderes Porträt Nr. 50/29, 1994/95; Thomas Ruff, anderes Porträt Nr. 143 A/14, 1994/1995; Thomas Ruff, anderes Porträt Nr. 143/131, 1994/95 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Barry Le Va, Cleaved Wall, 1969/70 © Barry Le Va, photo: Axel Schneider
Aernout Mik, Middlemen, 2001© Aernout Mik; Steven Parrino, Blob (for D. Crash), 1995 © Steven Parrino. Courtesy the Steven Parrino Estate/Gagosian Gallery; Thomas Ruff, anderes Porträt Nr. 50/29, 1994/95; Thomas Ruff, anderes Porträt Nr. 143 A/14, 1994/1995; Thomas Ruff, anderes Porträt Nr. 143/131, 1994/95 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
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