claudia_reiche on 24 Jun 2001 17:46:09 -0000

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Re: [oldboys] flowers // oldboys commitment and the question ofwhois

Hi Ulrike and everyboy
thank you very much for your questions and point of view towards the
"flower-case" as it represents itself in the mails.
In my opionion you are right, stating that the principle of dissent was left
behind within the press-release of 'mind the flowers'. (To me  this means
unfortunately  quite a loss of trust in the years of OBN-debating  on
concepts of non-hierarchic representation)
As Helene criticised rightly: the names of these 'obn' flower girls have not
been mentioned.  I can't see any possibility of making it clear  to the
public that behind such a generalized 'OBN'-label is to be found a debating
structure valuing the dissent. I think this principle of dissent has to be
'staged', has to be applied in every  action carried out in the name of OBN.

Cornelia, the hint to read the opening mail does not answer Ulrikes
question, i think. For, it seems that at least there are different
possibilities to make sense of the rules: different possibilities to read
I thought about this: how would the flowers-action have been an OBN-action?
Naming the persons involved is one (necessary) thing. But another I claim is
to choose forms which are not stronly coded as a classical 'fitting-in' of
an organisation or an individual in the framing of a power-structure.
(flowers as offerings to gods, honoring 'leaders' etc.)
Even if an irony or joke of this bouquet of flowers was intended, to me this
could perhaps soften the embarassment of the gesture, but not the 'anti-OBN'
structure within. 
I think GROUPs like the Guerilla girls or -Innen could make really good and
sarcastic art work with representational gestures like giving flowers to men
with influence. But not a NETWORK, bound together with the agreement on
To make such flower-tactics work, I believe that there must be an
IDENTITY-principle, that is an artist's or group's STYLE. Otherwise ironical
or critical gestures  are not likely to be understood, for they rely on
fixed sign- and role-systems.
But the OBN - principle is in my opinion not possible in the sense of such a
classical artist's or group's 'handwriting'. How could a critical
NON-Identiy of disagreement and dissent ever work within such framing? I
think OBN can't and shouldn't.
A discussion of the structuring principles of OBN seems very necessary a
this moment. What do you think?

Claudia Reiche

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