Stefan Brüggemann

Kunsthalle Bern

I CAN’T EXPLAIN AND I WON’T EVEN TRY. This polemically pointed statement, affixed to a wall in the Kunsthalle in big shiny black vinyl letters, read like a challenge to the critic preparing to review Stefan Brüggemann’s show. This linguistic gesture of refusal—a 2008 work titled after its content—was only the beginning of a novel and utterly fascinating reflection on the current state of art. Brüggemann’s turns of phrase are invariably meant to be taken literally, but they also form a carefully defined set of statements that negate and comment on one another in the context created by the show—as they do in Looks Conceptual, 1999; To Be Political It Has to Look Nice, 2003; Sometimes I Think. Sometimes I Don’t, 2001; and (This Is Not Supposed to Be Here), 2001. Brüggemann’s word compositions enunciate simple, direct statements only to retract them on either semantic or syntactical levels.

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