The Art of Falling Apart

This Situational Art Performance by Nadja Geer is part of Death in Athens Festival and Athens ArtCore
“The Art Of Falling Apart” is a show where timing plays an important role. You will have one minute to experience art and be part of it. Choosing the title of a pop song of the 1980’s song this situational art performance builds a bridge between pop art, fluxus and eco-feminism. This work would like to raise awareness of the destabilization of natural systems and the multitude forms we are as consumers are entangled, involved and intertwined in this. OMS is an open space for situational art performances and metadiscourse, focusing on the duration of art reception. Hypothetically one minute should be enough time to understand how the intricate relationship between art and people actually works. How do we see art? What does it trigger in us? Can it activate political action?

Situational Art Performance: Did I implement the concept well?

„The Art of Falling Apart“

Narrative:
In the age of the Anthropocene scientists became aware of the fact that the human race has a big influence on biological, geological and atmospheric processes that take place on the earth. We are also aware of the destabilization of natural systems that has occurred over the last years.
A natural system we are used to keep stable is our own body. The whole beauty and grooming industry wants us to believe that individual destabilization processes (like aging and illness and dying) can be stabilized again. If only you buy the right product you can stabilize your personal decay like a pH-value of a healthy skin.
On top of that the pharmaceutical industry wants us to believe in supplements and drugs.

Working successfully against your own decay or your own flaws became one of the biggest industry worldwide. In the year 2018 the sales in personal care and cosmetics in Germany alone amounted to 14,7 billion Euro while the global beauty industry is worth about $532 billion.

This dream factory was supported by Western promises: Seemingly never aging beautiful pop stars, boosting the idea of never fading beauty. Beauty products are all wrapped into something or packed up or in a kind of plastic bottle, crucible, box, can, tin, tube or blister pack. Naturally the plastics debris in the ocean is not only the relict of beauty care products – don’t forget cleaning products and packaging of take away food and plastic cups for drinks – but it is definitely a part we as individuals can reduce in changing our consumer behavior.

Concept:
This work would like to raise awareness of the destabilization of natural systems and the multitude forms we as consumers are entangled, involved and intertwined in this. In a new global climate situation a new political subject is needed. There is more to recognize about the world today than modernism told us. Western, liberal anthropomorphism will not change the situation we live in and the attitude we used to show toward terrestrial decomposition.

Implementation
Seventy-three used plastic packaging originating from beauty products, cleaning supplies, drugs and medical devices arranged randomly on a white fabric forming a polka dot pattern. Each visitor can stay one minute and look at the piece, also climbing up a ladder to get a different perspective. The visitor will also get the narration to read and contemplate on. After the one-minute art experience the visitor or recipient sis asked by the artist (who is present) if the concept and the narration was implemented well into art. For that answer the art visitor will get a multiple choice test which he can only answer with “yes” or “no” and “no answer”.

Artist Statement:

“The beauty industry with its aim to hide, whitewash and mask aging, loss of beauty and at the end death, plays a crucial role in the perpetuating the old regime where humans stand above all the other life forms on the planet. Together with factory farming and fossil fuels industry the beauty industry can be regarded as highly destructive – maybe for the individual but surely for the earth. It is time to widen our visual field, take into consideration not only personal death, but the one of the Earth too. Groom the planet.”