This publication reflects upon the exhibition of Stefan Brüggemann's nihilist statements read, sung, and screamed by Punk icon Iggy Pop, sculpting aurally the spaces of a seemingly empty gallery covered in densely painted black paneling paintings.
Stefan Brüggemann labours his work with words as the prime material. His medium is essentially pieces of text (statements, slogans, appropriated writing, poetry as a (w)hole…). Stefan's deepest desire was for Iggy Pop to incarnate these statements through his unique and mesmerizing voice. Iggy Pop has been a defining voice for generations, sparking a radical and uncompromising revolution whose effects can still be felt today. In October 2018, Brüggemann and Mathieu Copeland went to Miami to record him reading all of Stefan's text pieces and hyper-poems to date. The recording was later played in its entirety in the exhibition Hyper-Palimpsest at Hauser & Wirth, London in a room covered in densely painted black paneling, layered with text pieces repeated over and over again in black Letraset and spray painted over in black with newspaper headlines and the last lines of movies.
This publication reflects upon this experience, as it oscillates between being the memory of an exhibition and a book made of art to be read. It presents an opportunity for us to travel 360 degrees around the exhibition and then to approach the boards more closely to experience the materiality of the words. On the patio of the recording studio, under a heavy Miami sun, Brüggemann and Copeland also recorded a conversation with Iggy Pop, which is reproduced in these pages. Also included is a compelling essay by Norman Rosenthal and Jonathan P. Watts that reveals the politics behind the surface of Hyper-Palimpsest. Finally, all 69 of Stefan's text pieces are printed with black ink on black paper, as yet another negation disappearing into the void, a reaffirmation of Nothings.
Published following the eponymous exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, London, in 2019.
Stefan Brüggemann (born 1975 in Mexico, lives and works between London and Mexico) is interested in “words that become pictures” and “pictures that become words.” In this way he questions the idea of transferring or mirroring information. Language becomes a way of remembering, of reflecting and refracting events. His laconic picture-signs act as memorials to “language that must be reactivated.” They create imaginary spaces or experiences for the audience, invoked by words. These spaces are produced through the individual act of looking, and each look is always new, notwithstanding the familiarity of the statement.
Independently from many other materials and mediums Brüggemann uses, one of his principal strategies is to inject a Pop sensibility into Conceptual strategies in a simple but refreshing way.