Gottfried Bechtold

Unser Mann

“Unser Mann” (“Our Man”), by Gottfried Bechtold is an artwork for a post-ideological age, a reflection on the contextual view points of politicians, their positioning during a election campaign, as well as a reassessment of advertisement and power strategies.

The artist, born 1947 in Bregenz, presents himself as a man in his best years in a suit, inspiring confidence for the future with a friendly smile. He looks like a politician,  a man of the state, whom one can trust to solve the problems of our time. Truly inspiring, aside from the political party emblem, which changes twice a week (both sides of the billboard are used), though the photograph itself remains the same. Through this, a symbolism of a universal politician is created, a special code, which evokes the same effect at all points of the political spectrum. Content is not of central importance, but excitement of emotions, it is not about action, but representation, not the service to the community, but hollow occupation of an empty space, disguised as power. In this project, the artist becomes a showcase connoisseur, a virtual critique to a emblematic order, who is obliged to a “knowledge, which does not know itself” (Lacan).

The trained stonemason Gottfried Bechtold originally started with sculpting. Influenced by Land-, minimal- and concept art, he has been working since the 60s with and on the connecting points of nature and civilisation, human and technologically protected communication an reality and virtuality, in an experimental, analytical and intervening way. In the process he uses various media such as, “found objects” of natural and artificial origin, as well as materials like iron, gypsum or concrete. Starting from photography and filming to the newest electronical media, Bechtold makes use of many media in his art. Rarely does he leave the concept of the spatially experienceable objects, but often occupies himself with the expansion of the classical definition of sculpture. On of his most renowned pieces “100 Tage Anwesenheit in Kassel”(1971) was realised at Documenta 5 in Kassel, as well as his “Beton Porsche” (concrete Porsche), which was taken from a cast of his own car in 2001.     


Opening:  Monday, 1. September, 5.30 pm, Marktstraße 33 (Alte Naturschau),
 in presence of the artist.


Gottfried Bechtold, *1947 in Bregenz, took part in 1972 at Documenta 5, in Kassel. After Kassel, longer stays in Breat Britain, the US and Canada followed; collaboration with Paul Watzlawick at Standford University; Visiting Professor in Austria and abroad (Cornell University, Ithaca/USA; Karl-Franzens-Universität, Graz). 1999 he received the international art prize of Vorarlberg. Bechtold lives and works in Hörbranz, Vorarlberg.

The KÖR-Project is a collaboration with: Werkstadt Graz, Kunstraum Innsbruck in collaboration with Treibhaus and Kunstraum Dornbirn.