SALE (of 'A sale)
PS120
Potsdamer straße 120, Berlin
March, 2019



The work on show is the not yet purchased performance, 'A sale', a by-product of commercial circumstances. Invited by SUPER to exhibit during Brussels Art Weekend in 2018, Berger, who does not make art for sale, performed the sales pitch of the sale of a performance. This work, unsold, is now on SALE at PS120, Berlin. Berger neither makes work for sale, nor shows works more than once, which makes ‘A sale’ on SALE, not a second-hand edition but a performance in mint condition.
'A sale' was a situation specific performance.
The concept of performance was for sale according to the criteria of the call for proposals by 'A Performance Affair', Brussels Art Weekend. The work directly entered into dialogue with these guidelines. One of the requirements to participate in "not yet another fair", on a "flexible platform” to "stimulate discourse around the economies of performance" were that the work was on sale. Berger who does not make commercial art works, proposed a work that was a sale (performing the sale of the sale of a performance). The call to explore "the economies of performance” then became "the performance of economies”.

On 9 Aug 2018, at 18:44, Sanna Helena Berger wrote:
... A challenge of their narrative fallacy. This begins with their own statement of being "not being yet another fair". Immediately one must question how it can collect under another domain, when one of the requirements for partaking is that the works can be bought. Is this not the epitome of a fair? Something on show - for sale. The audacity of this implied moral hierarchy of art that is shown in "not-another-fair" milieu whilst outlining the requirements set for just-another-fair - a booth fee disguised as a cleaning fee, all works on show; for sale. This is the kind of neo-materialist humour that should be commented on, the farce of contemporar-
y situations
that is the sawing off of the legs of a structure which one is standing on. (Representatives of Fondazione Prada capsizing into the Venice canal comes to mind)
What is the "economies of performance"? There is the value which cannot be remunerated - experience, there is the value that can accumulate - sensationalism, documentation, repetition and then there is the value that inherently is the value of art, immediate implied intellectual interest / investment. To economise is to carefully manage available resources. Surely this is the opposite of how we treat performance in a contemporary setting? The experience of the performance appears on par (if not secondary) with/to the documentation of the performance which flows in abundance into the ether, not only post-performance but contemporaneously, as an extension of the live event (experience), highlighting one’s presence, ones abilities to jet-set. The documentation of the performance is usually the medium through which a live performance is experienced, attendance will always be limited, this can of course be applied to most art experiences, but the performance is the even more illusive, it is the fleeting, the temporary, and so the possibility to document, thus gather proof of one’s presence, at this fleeting event is of even higher value. This creates a schism; a crevasse that split open the experience which makes it impossible to reactivate the performance without the spectacle; a sensationalist structure. The value of the work is generated and determined by its aesthetic compliance to a contemporary general aesthetics - i.e of its appeal to add to one's lifestyle - one's representative imagery of one's lifestyle; one's feed. One claims the documentation of the performance as a shard in the mosaics of the performativity of one’s life.

A percentage of the profit from the eventual sale of 'A sale' would be donated to ‘23102015’. The performance would thus "stimulate the acquisition of performance while finding solutions for its development and sustainability.” 23102015 is an Endowment Fund based in Paris dedicated to promoting critically engaged art practices, and a Research Platform on private philanthropy. The fund initiated by artist Guillaume Maraud have expressed interest in exhibiting Berger's work through the support of the fund, and so the donation from Berger's own sale would set in motion a "potentially perpetual income". The sale of “A sale’ is in itself a potential perpetual income. The purchase of ‘A sale’ is the purchase of the concept of performance not the content of performance. As the sale has been finalised the buyer will enter into the production of a rhizome scheme, where the performance purchased is the exact same performance re-produced. ‘A sale’ could in theory, loop into a never ending advertisement, purchased, promoted and resold without ever producing a product. SALE is the unsold concept of ‘A sale’ on show, the works share the sales pitch as the representative body, who in the intimate instant, acts as use-value. The commentary shifts and moves, grounded still in a critique of forced commerce where philistines pose as patrons and worth of work is entirely determined by the surrounding circumstances of the social. The contorted self is given more room and the I, singular, is multiplied in shapes, where shifts in tactics and first-person perspectives present her, I, as both the instrument and the environment.
SALE is the not the product, SALE is the commentary on the forced production of self which is sold as product. A kind of dramaturge evolves where the first person perspective, the bodies strewn, the empty champagne glasses eventually filled for free and the monologue are both the narrative and the real-time response to the undergone process leading to the point of exhibition. A process which has been a closing off of self, the continuous holding back of outrage and urgency, the act of performativity as pitch to conceal the production of a prelude to prevent future luxury constitutions.

‘A sale’ was performed during Brussels Art Weekend, August, 2018 by invitation from SUPER, Paul Makowsky and Lukas Panek
SALE, PS120, Berlin is a performance curated by Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe
Both works are performed by Marie Lüder

Monologue
Documentation
A sale, Brussels
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