“Sometimes you get fascinated by the object that [that object] represents”, says Martin Kohout about the inspiration behind his work. Speaking to George Michelle for our fifth video in the Money Makes the World Go ‘Round series, the Czech-born, Berlin-based artist explains why he started his own publishing house and how he now wants to move away from the idea of images and artefacts as symbolic.
In Part One of two titled ‘Figures’, Kohout reveals the motives behind recent publications hosted by TLTRPreß (TooLongToReadPress), like Linear Manual and Sleep Cures Sleepiness, as offering a path through its invited contributors’ often complex unpickings of contemporary culture. For example, stick becomes a jumping-off point for exploring modes of decentralised power and the act of sleep; our relationship to work in the context of global corporations as facilitated through digital communication.
The role of publishing within Kohout’s practice is essentially his research process made public. Leaving the heavy theory for the TLTRPreß books, his art is freed from becoming “simply an illustration of these ideas”.
Kohout’s work is moving toward something that is hard to document. Whether its running through the third-longest road tunnel in the world as part of his ‘Gotthard‘ (2013) performance, or dragging a smartphone across a range of indiscernible tourist hot spots in ‘Sjezd‘ (2014), the artist attempts to create a space entirely his own.
Art and economics is central to the Money Makes the World Go ‘Round series –exploring art and artists in a global market in collaboration with Video in Common –to publish at the start of every second week from the last day of March to June, 2015. It features six artists from cities around the networked world. **
Watch the video embedded above and see here for Part Two.
This project has been made possible through the generous support of Arts Council England.