© Marc Brandenburg, graphite on paper, Courtesy Laura Mars Grp.
FULL CIRCLE (Excerpts from Negrophobia )
"Snapshots" is what the Berlin artist Marc Brandenburg calls his semi documentary snapshot and magazine tear-out based drawings. Influenced by personal mythology and the iconology of popular culture, his picture cycles describe appearingly film like movements, that consist of perspectively alienated and reversed negative singular pictures. Snapshots of friends, graphite images of models, porno actors and hooligans come together in Brandenburgs picture world with teen memorabilia, fetish objects, plastic toys or geometric shapes, to an associative medium of the drawn production of the artist. Just as in Brandenburgs work the border between subject and object disintegrate, his series such as "Meddle" (1999) or "White Rainbow " (2000) take on the subject of the flowing transition from original to reproduction, from subversion to commerce, from individual expression to mechanically copied gestures. The scenario that Brandenburg portrays in his work, is influenced by the aesthetic dispute of violence, latent racism, homosexuality, and his own identity as a German Afro American.
With FULL CIRCLE (Excerpts from Negrophobia) Brandenburg takes motives out of "Negrophobia", the novel by the black US author Darius James that caused a literary sensation when it appeared in America. "Negrophopia" is a grotesque ride on a rollercoaster through the subconciousness, the dreams and fears of a subliminal racist America. As a raw and electrifying mixture of screenplay, poetry, and theatre play. The book tells the story of the blond teen-queen Bubbles, and her paranoid and cliché filled trip into African-American culture. It's not just about the existing circumstances, when Darius James exposes his heroine to social and sexual torture, or confronts her with crack ridden homeboys, cannibals in grass skirts, talking dreadlocks, zombie masters and grotesque cartoon figures. James Novel is the both explicit and poetic approach to the picture language of an abysmal entertainment industry, whose racist portrayals of role, infiltrate us as to which skin colour we are, from childhood on.
FULL CIRCLE associates itself, as a collaboration between Darius James and Marc Brandenburg, with the character that appears in the novel, Walt Disney, a representative creator of white mainstream culture. Disneys extreme anti communist attitude, which he during the Mc Carthy era proved before the committee to be anti - American, the creation of his "Magic Kingdom" in particular the synonym for all things American, the character Mickey Mouse, inspired James to write his fictional work about a Nazi State founded by Disney, which combine fascist atrocities with religious fundamentalism in a "Be happy or I'll kill you" Disneyland mentality.
The motive for FULL CIRCLE is the famous sequence from the 1940 film, Disney's "Fantasia" , in which the silhouette of Mickey and the conductor Leopold Stokowski hold their hands out to each other. In FULL CIRCLE Brandenburg takes on this constellation by photographing Darius James in a Mickey Mouse "Führer" uniform, from different perspectives, in circular motion that come together to form a full circle in a space specially designed by the artist for the performance. A rotation around a platform, on which James, like his model Stokowski, is positioned in the stance of a conductor. These Photos form the basis for Brandenburgs latest series of drawings.
At the same time FULL CIRCLE is the pseudo authentic reconstruction of a performance, that actually takes place on the opening night, when Darius James performs excerpts from NEGROPHOBIA, an act to which he says, "I want everyone who has had a racist thought to feel physically sick." FULL CIRCLE signifies the shapes of a closed motion: the circulation of repeatedly reproduced performances, the circles produced by a conductors baton, the round movements of a spot light, and the cycle of perpetrators and victims.