The Kunstverein Bielefeld is delighted to present Don’t Say I Didn’t Say So, an exhibition featuring the work of the artists Cudelice Brazelton IV, Irina Lotarevich, Pierre Allain, Timothée Calame, Toni Schmale, and Yeşim Akdeniz. The group exhibition focuses on the question: What is the inherent connection between modern aesthetics and the disciplinary society? The disciplinary system emerged in the eighteenth century, at the same time as the field of aesthetics. Its focus is on forming the body, increasing its powers and thus its economic utility. Contemporary societies may be “societies of control” (Gilles Deleuze) but they continue to maintain disciplinary processes. In fact, the body is more contested than ever as a site of competing political and economic interests. But what does this mean for contemporary social practices? What potential for resistance do they possess?
The exhibition’s title should be understood in the context of this discussion. Don’t Say I Didn’t Say So refers to an installation of that name by Marcel Broodthaers: Ne dites pas que je ne l’ai pas dit—Le Perroquet (1974). A central element of that installation was a parrot, a body inhabited by the voices of others, which imitates language and repeats words tautologically. Coming from a parrot, however, the phrase “Don’t say I didn’t say so” is changed radically, becoming a question about one’s own social role and about conditions of speaking. It thus becomes a question about the conditions under which autonomous individual action is possible.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive program of talks, workshops, and a varied series of guided tours.