Pawel_Althamer | Michael_Asher | Nairy_Baghramian | Guy_Ben-Ner | Guillaume_Bijl | Martin_Boyce | Jeremy Deller | Michael_Elmgreen und Ingar_Dragset | Hans-Peter_Feldmann | Dora_Garcia |
Isa_Genzken | Dominique_Gonzalez-Foerster | Tue_Greenfort | David_Hammons | Valérie_Jouve | Mike_Kelley | Suchan Kinoshita | Marko_Lehanka | Gustav_Metzger | Eva_Meyer und Eran_Schaerf | Deimantas_Narkevicius | Bruce_Nauman | Maria_Pask |
Manfred_Pernice | Susan_Philipsz | Martha_Rosler | Thomas_Schütte | Andreas_Siekmann | Rosemarie_Trockel | Silke_Wagner | Mark_Wallinger | Clemens von Wedemeyer | Annette_Wehrmann | Pae_White
*1961 Herborn (Hessen), lives and works in Frankfurt and Butzbach
There is something soothing about looking at flowers, writes Sigmund Freud; they know neither emotions nor conflict. Münster’s venerable Prinzipalmarkt, however, is currently home to a flower that, high up on a pole, has petals made of surfboards cut in half and tells muddled stories – all of which end in death.
The center of the blossom comprises a monitor and speaker connected to a computer. Marko Lehanka has developed a software program that generates stories set in Münster and starring the city’s inhabitants as protagonists. First names, family names, and street names from the city’s telephone book are fed into the computer, and a weather station provides meteorological data that are incorporated in each tale. In this work, as in his entire œuvre, Lehanka uses the local as his model for the global – “I also live in Münster – but in Butzbach-Münster.” The conclusion of the stories is predetermined: they all end with the death of the characters. However, this should not be hold against the flower with its black, cold heart, since killing off the characters is the most logical way for the computer to finish one tale and move on to the next. The speaker may laconically stammer out one death after another, but considering the constant stream of information to which we are subjected in everyday urban life, the flower’s muddled talk might make more sense than one is tempted to think upon first hearing and thus testifies to the subtle humor of the artist and programmer Marko Lehanka.
Marko Lehanka's world is trivial, and the beholder does not only recognise his/her everyday life in his works, but the banal character of events, which, at first glance, is a surprise. Since 1991 he has produced several series of 'Beer bottles', which are embossed with the typical fragments of sentences we hear in drinking bouts: all areas of life covered. The persiflage is another typical stylistic feature of Lehanka's art. He designed a room in the Museum of Modern Art (MMK) Frankfurt in the year 2000, where he showed for example a construction inspired by Albrecht Dürer's 'Bauernsäule' (1525), with the same title, however not crowned by a murdered peasant, but by a farmer, casually smoking a cigarette. Lehanka studied at Städelschule in Frankfurt from 1985 to 1990, and was awarded the Villa Romana Prize in Florence in 1993. He participated in the Venice Biennale in 2001, where he arranged an installation around the 'Bauernsäule' in the Italian Pavilion. Lehanka frequently uses improvisation and spontaneous ideas, which either become an integral component of his work, or whose spirit inspires his action or performance. The artist and his alternating assistants from the 'Mädcheninstitut Lehanka', which he founded in 1993, often move along the boundary between nonsense and absurdity. Lehanka uses many different artistic media, and has always been an expert in style, and an excellent observer of everyday life, which he knows to encounter with humour.