Who shot Immanence?
On The Dynamics Of Appropriation And Intervention In The Work Of Georg Paul Thomann

Since the early 1960s, Georg Paul Thomann has devoted himself to the grey zones where systems intersect: the art (market), politics, economics, pop, gaiety, vanity, good clean fanaticism, crisis, language, culture, self-content, identity, utopia, Georg Paul Thomann, mania and despair. The technique underlying his work is that of being and working in the fields of painting/the fine arts, Pop/avant-garde, theory/reflection, interventionism/politics, gaiety/lust/tragedy, (self-)configuration/mystification, and city/village. "Urban and rural zones are like a circulator pump in a brown, stinking little garden pond. They're feeding each other, they're sucking and spitting happily ever after" (interview with Thomann, in de:bug, Berlin, 1999). The project he pushes into and beyond these fields is 'networking' events, people, possibilities, material, impetus and identities. However, the networking here does not aim at constructing a transcendental mesh of contacts, but rather an ever-expanding and self-decentralising field of immanence, taking into account the phenomenon of rampancy as its determinate form of motion.
Rampancy here does not only mean prospering and thriving, growing beyond inherent boundaries, as suggested by a popular misreading of theoretical text, but sheer growth, growth in and on and through all levels. This is a movement of redundancy and contingency that genuinely implies its own counter-tendencies: splitting and implosion, even self-termination, self-sublimation, and re-cycling, several segments getting horny, putrefaction, cartilagination, hunchbackedness, fermentation, and repulsiveness ... Just as Thomann himself announces in his Maschinist Thomann manifesto: "If you use postmodern clichés, please at least do it properly!"
His strategic approach to interacting with and facing the 'outside' turns Thomann's form of networking into a non-dialectic dialectics of distance and nearness, presence and absence, hostile take-over and friendly separation, particularisation and formation of fractions and, of course, the everlasting readiness for alliance. Thomann calls it "die and let live" (Georg Paul Thomann: Zum 100. Geburtstag Der 80er Jahre. Majuskeln, Vienna, 1992).
In this context, Thomann's oeuvre is a manifestation of his own personal progression through and in the counter-cultures of the post-war era. Little of his oeuvre is qualified to be memorised, kept or historicised, let alone shown in a museum. A good deal of it has simply been left by the side of the road. The paintings, the music, public appearances and other forms of statement by the "enfant terrassé of the Austrian art scene" (Thomann on Thomann) are intended to be consumed and processed quickly since, like secret messages in old spy-movies, they start to dissolve in the socio-physical givens of exposure as soon as they come into contact with them.

With contributions by: Martin Büsser, Stella Rollig, Roland Schöny, Stefan Grissemann, Lioba Reddeker, Peter von Trapp, Thomas Meineke, Zdenka Badovinac, Geert Lovink, Hans Temnitschka, Cosima Rainer, Michael Nagula, Amina Handke, Andreas Findeisen, Johannes Ullmaier, Claudia Slanar, Lorenz Seidler, Frank Apunkt Schneider, Gabu Heindl, Beat Weber, Tonki Gebauer, Didi Bruckmayr, Gerhard Stöger, Thomas Raab, Christian Kobald.

Edited by Thomas Edlinger, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Fritz Ostermayer

Published by edition selene in german and english language.
Paperback, 600 pages.
ISBN: 3-85266-183-8.
Euro: 34,80.

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