Philipp Timischl / How to Tastefully Plagiarise Myself © Holly Fogg
How to Tastefully Plagiarise Myself
Jun 8 – Aug 25, 2024
Le Confort Moderne
Poitiers, France

Comment me plagier avec goût (How to Tastefully Plagiarise Myself) is based on three installations that exalt Timischl’s obsessions from his early days as an artist in his native Austria in the 2010s, namely the fluidity and performativity of identities, mediums, and cultural objects (from masculinity to the bourgeoisie). Through paintings and screen-paintings, video installations and texts, he questions, in a camp, naive, corrosive or determined register, the reality of incarnations and the way they inform us. Social distinction, gender and class passing, the politics of taste, the omnipresence of the image and the authenticity of the work are at the heart of this exhibition.

Ten monochrome gray paintings dominate the central hall of the Confort Moderne. These large, severe-looking volumes initially evoke the trophy paintings that museums fascinated by the pomp of the avant-gardes tend to favor. While the monochrome is alternately seen as an object of spiritual elevation, revolutionary, sacred, pure, mediumistic, materialistic, conceptual, or hermetic, it has above all become bourgeois. Through their parodic repetition, they become prototypes, gold standards of authorized good taste. However, by attaching screens at their bases, Philipp Timischl primarily practices an expanded field of painting – impure, hybrid, and porous to the flow of new image networks. By transforming his preppy canvases into circulation spaces for queer, pop and emo films, he makes the unlikely junction between Gertrude Stein and Cardi B, Clément Greenberg and Avicii, Barnett Newman and Lady Gaga. Despite their serial appearances as bipolar clones, the canvases each have their own personalities and assume a script or roleplay: punk and hostile; depressive; hungry for hookups on Grindr; a traumatized survivor of the American reality TV show Jersey Shore; non-binary; hard-edge intellectual. They all play and question their states, their identities, but also who you are: the contemporary art audience. Passing from melancholy to arrogance, from lament to euphoria in 24 frames per second, they end up synchronizing to embody a diagonal of emptiness and guide the gaze towards the monumental screen wall that splits the space. SLAY.

[ . . . ]

Following in the footsteps of the German capitalist realism of the 60s, a cranky cousin of American pop art, Philipp Timischl sets up the figure of the artist as a caustic commentator on the social postures and false pretenses of the art world. Borrowing from modernism, cartoons and mainstream cultures, Timischl reveals a fluid, elusive reality that renders our assumptions obsolete. The notion of the author is cannibalized by the machine, the supposedly mute works are extroverted, and the desire for self-determination is confronted with the violence of reality.Philipp Timischl is the illegitimate child of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and the queen of drag queens, RuPaul.The artist’s practice intersects the first’s analysis of culture as a weapon of social differentiation with the second’s idea of pastiche of taste, irony, and foolishness as a mode of political engagement.Against the neo-liberal fiction massively disseminated by images that everything is possible, he proposes an outrageous, hypertrophied drag reality that simultaneously demystifies. How to tastefully plagiarize myself.

How to Tastefully Plagiarise Myself
Jun 8 – Aug 25, 2024
Le Confort Moderne
Poitiers, France

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