International Monkey Business (2015)

An international art project in collaboration with Nina Staehli (Switzerland)

International Monkey Business

 

 

   

Monkey Business (1931)

The Marx Brothers sneak onto a ship from Europe to America as stowaways. While they're busy hiding

from the crew, they get mixed up in a conflict between rival gangsters Big Joe Helton and Alky Briggs.

Groucho and Zeppo are supposed to help Briggs rid himself of Helton while Harpo and Chico are enlisted

as Helton's bodyguards. After the ship arrives in New York, Helton throws a party for his daughter

Mary. Outside on the terrace, Briggs explains to Groucho his plan to blackmail Helton by kidnapping

Mary. But, while on board, Zeppo fell in love with Mary and Groucho tried to get with Briggs's wife

Lucille. In the end the brothers manage to set Mary free.

 

 

 

    Art is, in the broadest sense, an indeterminate amount of confusion. Academics and laymen then extrapolate from it questions, meanings or functions for all levels of society. And this happens with such an unwavering matter-of-factness and self-confidence that art – according to this romanticized view – comes across to the confused audience as a clear-cut concept on the horizon.

 

    Put into a different context, the International Monkey Business exhibition can also be seen as persiflage. Contemporary artists are economically savvy and trained to fit into the capitalist value system because the little money is only to be made in complete assimilation.

 

    In this sense, the artist knowingly turns himself into the monkey or dancing bear of a standardized society. Indeed, the antenna of art makers and the art system, have gotten so nuanced and sophisticated that the paying mainstream's needs, trends and innovations are justly and gallantly turned into works of art. And so the merry-go-round of art stars and starlets keeps on spinning cheerfully while edgy, evocative and abrasive art – which could help us better understand this world – falls by the wayside.

 

    The International Monkey Business exhibition offers viewers a thoughtful and ironic view of these issues, negotiating the value of art in a system replete with marketing, promotions and glamour.

 

 

 

 

Nina Staehli & Alejandro Thornton

Views of the exhibition at Schauraum, Lucerne (Switzerland)

October 2015

No break the rules

No break the rules

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

Non title

Non title

Silkscreen color pencil and collage on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

No think about the ass hole

No think about the ass hole

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

IMB

IMB

Silkscreen color pencil and collage on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

Do the monkey

Do the monkey

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

The monkeys affair 2

The monkeys affair 2

Silkscreen, 1/2 francs and and letter press on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

The monkeys affair

The monkeys affair

Silkscreen, collage and and letter press on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

Is not enough

Is not enough

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

How much is too much

How much is too much

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

Boys and girls

Boys and girls

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

We forget the money

We forget the money

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

Chains of favors

Chains of favors

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

Brain or tale

Brain or tale

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

Little monkeys

Little monkeys

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

St

St

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

My home your home

My home your home

Silkscreen and ink on paper, 42x59cm. 2015

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