Who shot Immanence?
On The Dynamics Of Appropriation And Intervention In The Work Of Georg
Paul Thomann

Since the early 1960s, Georg Paul Thomann has devoted himself to the grey
zones where systems intersect: the art (market), politics, economics, pop,
gaiety, vanity, good clean fanaticism, crisis, language, culture,
self-content, identity, utopia, Georg Paul Thomann, mania and despair. The
technique underlying his work is that of being and working in the fields
of painting/the fine arts, Pop/avant-garde, theory/reflection,
interventionism/politics, gaiety/lust/tragedy,
(self-)configuration/mystification, and city/village. "Urban and rural
zones are like a circulator pump in a brown, stinking little garden pond.
They're feeding each other, they're sucking and spitting happily ever
after" (interview with Thomann, in de:bug, Berlin, 1999). The project he
pushes into and beyond these fields is 'networking' events, people,
possibilities, material, impetus and identities. However, the networking
here does not aim at constructing a transcendental mesh of contacts, but
rather an ever-expanding and self-decentralising field of immanence,
taking into account the phenomenon of rampancy as its determinate form of
motion.

Rampancy here does not only mean prospering and thriving, growing beyond
inherent boundaries, as suggested by a popular misreading of theoretical
text, but sheer growth, growth in and on and through all levels. This is a
movement of redundancy and contingency that genuinely implies its own
counter-tendencies: splitting and implosion, even self-termination,
self-sublimation, and re-cycling, several segments getting horny,
putrefaction, cartilagination, hunchbackedness, fermentation, and
repulsiveness ... Just as Thomann himself announces in his Maschinist
Thomann manifesto: "If you use postmodern clichés, please at least do it
properly!"

His strategic approach to interacting with and facing the 'outside' turns
Thomann's form of networking into a non-dialectic dialectics of distance
and nearness, presence and absence, hostile take-over and friendly
separation, particularisation and formation of fractions and, of course,
the everlasting readiness for alliance. Thomann calls it "die and let
live" (Georg Paul Thomann: Zum 100. Geburtstag Der 80er Jahre. Majuskeln,
Vienna, 1992).

In this context, Thomann's oeuvre is a manifestation of his own personal
progression through and in the counter-cultures of the post-war era.
Little of his oeuvre is qualified to be memorised, kept or historicised,
let alone shown in a museum. A good deal of it has simply been left by the
side of the road. The paintings, the music, public appearances and other
forms of statement by the "enfant terrassé of the Austrian art scene"
(Thomann on Thomann) are intended to be consumed and processed quickly
since, like secret messages in old spy-movies, they start to dissolve in
the socio-physical givens of exposure as soon as they come into contact
with them.

Edited by Thomas Edlinger, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Fritz Ostermayer

With contributions by: Martin Büsser, Stella Rollig, Roland Schöny, Stefan
Grissemann, Lioba Reddeker, Peter von Trapp, Thomas Meineke, Zdenka
Badovinac, Geert Lovink, Hans Temnitschka, Cosima Rainer, Michael Nagula,
Amina Handke, Andreas Findeisen, Johannes Ullmaier, Claudia Slanar, Lorenz
Seidler, Frank Apunkt Schneider, Gabu Heindl, Beat Weber, Tonki Gebauer,
Didi Bruckmayr, Gerhard Stöger, Thomas Raab, Christian Kobald.

Published by edition selene, Vienna in german and english language, 2002
Paperback, 604 pages.
ISBN: 3-85266-183-8
Preis: Euro 34,80

Open Access at edition mono / monochrom: http://tinyurl.com/zljubhh

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