Club Tropicana

For a year or so I had been occupied with the possibility of how to create an erotic or decorative male body without repeating traditional male attributions. I was interested in the male body and his visual representation in art, public media and pop culture. In addition to that I came up with the idea to expand my paintings into space. So I started to paint on cardboard, which I found in the bins of the Slade School of Art, and created a Cockaigne filled with desirable things like food, naked flesh, colors and love. 
I had used the subjects and people in a decorative way but freed the architectural ornaments from their historical interpretations and the male faces, bodies and body parts as plain decorative objects and symbols. I worked with the aesthetics of 1980ies airbrush-posters because these posters to me embodied everything that seems to be desirable for young people: an unreal exotic landscape with perfect creatures, all of them willing to be touched and kissed. Nevertheless the way those colorful images were placed on the walls and the cardboards were build I found a relationship to churches. To me it looked like church windows made of stained glass, but one couldn´t look through them. Out of this feeling I wanted something with a ritualistic character happening inside the building. Therefore I placed a performance video in front of the entrance. In this video I perform as a man, with naturalistic beard, make up and male clothing while I sing in playback the song “love is Blue” and make carvings into tropical fruits. The second part of the performance shows me eating the leftovers of the fruits, while the song “Club Tropicana” by WHAM! is playing in the back. The emotions, my body language and my facial expression are exaggerated and histrionic. This work deals with some of the basic desires in the cultural world in which I am enclosed  such as the need for collecting images of wanted things, putting them together in a sacred place or constructing a sacred place with them. It is about creating a new utopian place through compacting using the example of the male body, which has developed an invisible nature in our visual culture. The displayed nature was as unreal as the displayed love, everything too beautiful to be true.

Performance on Vimeo 



Markus Krottendorfer (installation)
Alexander Nussbaumer (details)