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APRIL 13 - MAY 15 2014
For nearly a decade Rainer Ganahl has been identifying with the early proto-avant-garde figure Alfred Jarry who became a world celebrity through his absurd theater piece â€śKing Ubuâ€ť, his pataphysical writings and his self-destructive life-style that killed him at the age of 34.
Ganahlâ€™s I WANNA BE ALFRED JARRY works rather ignores Jarryâ€™s most famous classics and focuses on the less known aspects of Jarry as a fanatic cyclist with a stolen bicycle at a time this new vehicle was just invented, as a gay character who was in possession of at least one penis sculpture and as a mad man who shot guns at friends, critics and monuments. In his little small late futurist novel, â€śLe SurmĂ˘leâ€ť, 1903, Jarry basically anticipated what later became known as performance enhancing drugs in form of bicycle doping and Viagra.
To show the power of his â€śPerpetual Motion Foodâ€ť, the text stages a 10 000 miles race between a quintuplet, 5 riders on a bike, against a train that ran on the tracks of the then not yet fully built trans-siberian railway. For the less explicit demonstration of male masculinity, the writer describes a 24 hour love making performance in which the female partner passes out and dies, as observed through a peep hole that evokes the exact scenery of Duchamps posthumous master piece â€™â€™Ă‰tant DonnĂ©â€ť. Duchamp and nearly the entire international avant-garde of the early 20th century idolized Jarry after his premature death in 1907 and the publication of his entire oeuvres a few years later that contained a drove of texts and text fragments so powerful that even 100 years later Rainer Ganahl still gets â€śhighâ€ť on him.
Swissjarry, the title of the artistâ€™s presentation, does not just randomly play with the location of the show but serves as a reminder that Jarryâ€™s King Ubu was presented by Hugo Ball at the Cabaret Voltaire in 1916. (see also Ganahlâ€™s one person exhibition DADALENIN at Cabaret Voltaire.) He also wrote the fantastic short story entitled The Passion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race, which inspired Ganahl for a Heimatfilm with the same title shot in the Alps in a late winter month.
Hacienda presentS Rainer Ganahlâ€™s Swissjarry with not only works presented in a one person show at Kunstforum, Vienna in 2012 â€“ see publication Ingrid Brugger, Heike Eipeldauer (ed.), Rainer Ganahl, I wanna be Aflred Jarry, Verlag fĂĽr moderne Kunst NĂĽrnberg GmbH, 2012 with texts by Martha Schwendener, Heike Eipeldauer and Rainer Ganahl â€“ but also new works that try to trace the undocumented portrait of Alfred Jarry by his best friend Henri Rousseau, called Le Douanier, which Jarry didnâ€™t like and had subsequently destroyed.
The artist hosted an Alfred Jarry reading in German as well as a discussion with Stefan Zweifel, a literary critic and translator of texts by Alfred Jarry with a subsequent presentation of â€śI wanna be Alfred Jarryâ€ť films on Tuesday, April 15th.
The artist maintains two websites dedicated to Alfred Jarry: