Color like money and language has become deregulated. Color is no longer tethered to form and meaning and becomes a vehicle through which emancipated feelings, political intrigues and resistance to institutional normalization processes can become realized. Warren Neidich uses color to recoup the political conditions of creating meaning – summarized in the three part neon-painting Red, White, and Blue (2007).
In the Afterimage Paintings, (2016) red neon sculptures spell the names of German emigrants Bertolt Brecht, Hanns Eisler and Lion Feuchtwanger all of which were later blacklisted in Hollywood as communists and thus never were granted a star on Hollywood Boulevard. Neidich remedies this by activating complementary colored afterimages that are then projected upon empty painted stars mimicing those found on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the Archive of False Accusations (2016) vitrines illuminated by lavender neon light display found press clippings reporting on what has become known as The Lavender Scare – a less known facet of Joseph McCarthy’s witch-hunt to root out communist sympathizers.
In a second room a large three-dimensional cloudlike sculpture is installed: Pizzagate – named after the infamous conspiracy tale culminating in sniper Edgar Welch wanting to rescue the supposed sexually abused children he believed to held in the basement of Comet Ping Pong. Pizzagate exposes the apparatuses and patterns of flow and connectivity that generate False News and define click bait as well as understanding that in cognitive capitalism the new site of governementalization in the new attention economy is the brain’s neural plasticity, especially that found in the frontal cortex where attention and working memory are located. It also shows that the still virulent rumor based entirely on Fake News by now reaches well into the art world. If you want to find out how that works without fault you should try out Neidich’s most recent sculpture the small experimental setup Trump Cup (2017).
*A schedule of Neidich’s blindfolded performances in front of the neon will be posted on the Kunstverein’s webpage and on Facebook.