Greene Naftali Gallery is pleased to present our third solo exhibition with Berlin-based artist Daniel Pflumm. For more than a decade Pflumm has been involved in organizing a number of clubs in Berlin— Elektro (1992-1994), Panasonic (1995 – 1997), INIT-Bar (1998-2000)— and the screening of his video-loops has always been an integral part of the overall design. He is also a founder of the Elektro Music Department label under which he produces LPs, CD’s and t-shirts for distribution in retail and music shops internationally. Using a strategy of Situationist detournement, Pflumm has developed through digital techniques a form of Pop Art with an emphasis on the minimalist–influenced abstraction of branded mass media imagery. Borrowing strategies from culture-jammers, copyright crackers, audio mash-ups and other “tactical media,” Pflumm’s practice endangers its own integrity, and perhaps intentionally so. As an artistic practice, it becomes cultural production, a turn already inherent in the concept of Pop.
Pflumm’s commentary, ambiguously based in a global capitalism, makes visible the increasing deployment of corporate methodologies in the artworld itself. As one of the original exhibiting artists at Galerie Neu, Pflumm designed the gallery logo and graphics. He reopened their “new” second space with an exhibition entitled Neu, which featured only one video. With footage of the gallerists dancing in a televisual advertising space, the work functioned as promotional video for the gallery’s new space. Pflumm then opened Galerie Antik (2002-2003) only a few blocks away to function as a news bar and exhibition space for local Berlin artists.
For the current exhibition, Pflumm will present the New York debut of his video installation, Paris (2004), first exhibited in his solo exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo. With its unsteady image quality and shifting montage speeds, the video suggests a comprehensive Pop catalogue of global corporate symbols while also appearing to capture the way market forces move people through urban space. The video is loosely arranged into three sections, each with its own soundtrack. In the first segment, flickering logos, advertisements, and news clips (all taken straight from television) are montaged and manipulated, engaging the strategies of seduction and manipulation by which corporations attack the very base of individual subjectivity. The second part consists of one painfully long shot in realtime as workers head towards the train for their daily commute. For the final segment, Pflumm takes a melancholic look at the centers of global capitalism, filming the setting sun in Mexico City, fireworks in Berlin, and demonstration in Paris. The film closes as Pflumm is detained by French police for filming without consent at Charles de Gaulle airport. Pflumm tapes over the contested footage by filming at random the floor patterns and bags even while arguing his case with the police.
The show will also include a silkscreen on brushed aluminum of the decontextualized official emblem of the United States Department of the Army as well as an installation of manufactured stickers, t-shirts, and bags. These cheaply produced goods bear the appropriated logos of such multinational giants as Boeing, Chase Manhattan, CNN, and United Artist’s as well as those of Pflumm’s invention (Furious, Utopia Air, Too Much TV)