DECEMBER 13, 2008 6 PM - DECEMBER 14, 2008 2 AM



With Complete Communion Celebration, Jaro Straub and Matthew Burbidge present a video installation based on an eight-hour performance during which the artists juxtaposed improvised guitar sounds and voices with passages from Guy Debord’s autobiographical book Panegyric- for an absent public, under a bridge, by a river, in Berlin.

On the night of the exhibition, the performance is presented as two distinctly filmed parts, which are projected simultaneously on either side of a monumental screen: in one part the artists are performing in a seemingly interior space; in the other the sun is setting over a landscape, which rapidly becomes obscured in darkness.

The double-sided screen is incorporated into a series of columns, which bisect the space along its center. The installation functions as a barricade, which the public must negotiate in order to view the performative part of the video.

The exhibition aims at a communal experience. Complete Communion Celebration asks for active participation in creating a conscious social alternative to the spectacle.

If the artists take Guy Debord’s later work Panegyric as a base, it is to reveal more about his position as an ‘author’, understood as an individual within the Society of the Spectacle. In a poster-collage presented at the exhibition, this question of the individual’s relation to the spectacle is reactivated, demonstrating the auto-disciplinary dimension that the spectator generates, from the moment where they wish to be conquered by the imaginary to the detriment of the real. Images of the police, positioned within the collage as spectators themselves act as an allegory to this question of power.

By a formal operation, the artists distinguish between the collective and the ideological dimensions of the spectacle. In other words, using Debord against Debord allows art the possibility to reclaim its immediate force in the space of public representation through the use of music, posters, alcohol, graffiti, The Gallery, sculpture, and video.

DOCUMENTATION: Try-har-der, Jaro Straub