Re: Bachelor Machines
Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig
– 22 June 2018
The term “bachelor machine” first became known around 1913 as a title for a piece of the art object “The Large Glass”, by the French-American artist Marcel Duchamp. His contemporaries, such as Michel Carrouges or Franz Kafka developed this term into a philosophical myth where it describes man as a machine in “dictated” relationships and a form of technical eroticism. The exhibition takes up these issues and asks how the myth has been changed by the developments of the digital age and whether it is still relevant to current issues such as feminism. Works by Harald Szeemann, from the 1975 touring exhibition “Bachelor Machine” are on display, accessible via a digital archive. These are juxtaposed with contemporary works and research based on the myth, in order to generate discussion. “Re: Bachelor Machines” aims to reconcile the ideas of philosophers and artists of that time and the intention of Szeemann’s exhibition with the current zeitgeist, and to re-examine the myth from today’s perspective. The focus is on subjects such as “reproduction”, free sexuality, the current understanding of eroticism and overcoming gender issues, digitisation and the relationship between man and machine, as well as a post-human state. It is also interesting to compare how Szeemann’s individual opinion communicates with the result of the collective research project of the master’s programme.