Olaf Breuning’s Imperfect Vision

by Paddy Johnson on December 28, 2012 Sponsor

Americans can’t pronounce the last name of Swiss artist Olaf Breuning. That’s not problem, so much as it is an introduction to Breuning, the subject of the latest edition of the Avant/Garde diaries. The artist has a reputation for transforming what might other wise be common situations and objects into the absurd.

He’s probably best known for his work with Brian Kerstetter, a friend of the artist who plays a dilated-pupiled tourist who can no longer tell the difference between reality and fiction. In the Diaries, a clip is shown with the character attending an occupy protest, while unsure if he is the 1% or the 99%.

“My work is honest.” Breuning tells the audience, before elaborating, on the role of artist. “Artists have to do something other people can not do. They have to be special.”

The problem of course, is that in this world, it’s impossible to be special enough. Audiences demand constant change, and as Breuning notes, artists only have one brain, and can not reinvent themselves all the time. Breuning’s work though, seems to be an answer to this, as its content is malleable within the framework he’s articulated. As if drawing a conclusion, he tells Avant/Garde viewers, “I do something that looks cool but then one detail is not really perfect.”

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