Cornelius Kolig. Short Notes to Eternity or Don’t Fuck with Paradise
Cornelius Kolig’s “paradise” could also be examined from above. One would see an organic building-structure comprising a Sistine chapel, a pantheon, cow and pig stalls, and “a wild intoxicating garden” on a total area of 6,000 square meters.
But Sasha Pirker does not even suggest such an overview in her portrait of the artist. Instead, right at the start of the work, she jumps straight into details of how he combines art and life: already in the opening credits she depicts in poetic, nearly still standing images, the atmosphere surrounding the building while the artist explains his first thoughts on a “buildable paradise” in the late 1960s. One sees apple trees, twigs, rose bushes, foliage, and also structural elements of the complex that has evolved over decades. Here, according to Kolig’s voice-over, one is surrounded by “intense aromas of plants and intoxicating sounds of mermaids.” From the organic forms outside, Pirker transitions to the interior of the building where Kolig has his depot and showrooms.
Parallel to the pictures, which give an impression of his work that is concerned with life’s existential themes, Kolig offers, directions for performative works: “turn the pants pocket around and foam it out from the inside with rigid foam,” or “stick the finger into the anus or vagina and then smell it.”
Rather than ingenious poses, as one knows all too well from other artists’ portraits, here one hears only Kolig’s voice and sees signs and words that the artist has installed in and around the complex. At one point, Kolig calls for “using the brain like an ax or a chainsaw against language.” In direct reference to this deconstructivist approach, Pirker continually focuses on his transparent objects in her pulsative succession of images; but also on those structures of permeable architecture (passageways, windows, Plexiglas panes, etc.) that are indebted to the building complex’s ability to transform rather than its fixation.
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt
Cornelius Kolig. Anleitungen an die Ewigkeit oder/or Don’t Fuck with Paradise