Torsten Haake-Brandt

In his performances and the objects he creates, the thirty-nine-year-old artist Torsten Haake-Brandt addresses the intersection of art and labor. In his recent exhibition “From 9 to 5” (which at times recalled Joseph Beuys’ investigations into the artist’s place in society), Haake-Brandt exhibited a dozen objects and photographs that he had meticulously masticated, accompanied with the motto “Lazy Bones! Use your free time! Chew up the opposition!” The results he achieved in these works were often quite startling.

Among the objects presented were a crucifix with an armless figure of Christ; a pistol whose barrel appeared to have melted; and the bitten-up fender of a toy car fashioned of tin. In the chewed photographs, images of Los Angeles, flowers, nude models, and Martin Kippenberger’s Metro Net installation for Documenta X were all transformed into vaguely expressive abstractions. One

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