Jeff Turek (jeffturek)
Born 1956, ... Wilbur Peck Court, Greenwich Connecticut, U.S.A.
Living since the late 70's mostly in West Germany.
Bassist ... self-taught
with the exception of two very short but sweet instruction sessions (one each) with;
Mickey Kolinsky, USA ("Know where your notes are ... know the neck.") ...
Klaus Voormann (Plastic Ono Band), Germany ("Always use your fingers and not a pick ... Don't play above the Fifth Fret ... and only change your bass strings if they break") ...
active in ...
New York City, Florida, Vermont, USA ... Hamburg & West Berlin, Germany ...
in various bands and studios since 1973
in various Solo/ Group Electroacoustic Performance Projects since 2001.
Study of Art, Poetry and History ... (70's - 80's) with ... Eduardo Paolozzi (Scottish Father of British POP ART) Robin Page (Canadian Fluxus Nut), Andreas von Weizsäcker (Sculptor, son of Richard), Allan Kaprow (student of John Cage, creator of HAPPENINGS), Al Hansen (Fluxus artist, grandfather of the musician BECK) , Sigmar Polke (Capitalistic Realist), Emmett Williams (Fluxus Poet). Rene Block (Fluxus Promoter ... got me my first museum job), Hermann Nitsch ("The Butcher of Prinzendorf" ... Vienna Actionist) , Georg Jappe (Poet, artist, bird watcher, creator of "OrnothoPoetry" ... maker of great cups of tea), Christian Beutler (Gothic Art Historian), Wolfgang Oppermann (Printer), Vlado Kristl (Poet, painter, filmmaker thrown out of Communist Yugoslavia ... role model for the New German Cinema directors; Wenders, Herzog, and Fassbinder) Ernst Mitzka (Video and graphic artist ... keeper of "Little John", the coyote in Joseph Beuys performance, "I Like America and America Likes Me"), Kurt Kranz (painter and graphic artist ... studied at Bauhaus with Kandinsky, Klee, Albers, and Beyer), Eddie Strayhorn (Accountant professor, ...cousin of Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington's arranger and composer of "Take the A Train"), Augustus Propersi (artist and private art school owner) & Bill the Magnificent (Park Avenue advertising and cartoon MASTER of the 50's and 60's)
in Greenwich & Stamford, Connecticut, USA, ...and Munich & Hamburg, Germany
which all together adds up to ;
(a semi-inspired, yet more importantly, occasionally inspiring) autodidact.
As a free-lance assistant / translator in various museums here in Germany from 1985 (it was Rene Block who first hired me in 1985) ... till 2001, I ended up working directly together with the following artists/ gallerists ; ... aiding them in the presentation of their various, usually very large scale, projects of all kinds throughout the years;
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Louise Bourgeois, Nobuyoshi Araki, Pierre Soulages, William Klein, Helmut Newton, Kurt Kranz, Bill Viola, Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhodes, Jeff Wall, George Baselitz, Rene Block, Elena Sonnabend, Kaspar König, Jeffrey Deitch, Elaine Sturtevant, Fischli & Weiss, Duane Hanson, Henri-Cartier Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Morris, Rosalind Krauss, General Idea, Andreas Gursky, Jorge Pardo, Anton Corbijn, Alex Katz, Joel Shapiro, John Armleder, Ettore Sottsass, Heinrich Hoffmann, Jr., Bernhard Johannes and Anna Blume, Gilbert and George, Erro, Robert Freeman, and Ilya Kabakov among many others.
Speaking from the perspective of nearly 40 years of personal experience; the Most Intelligent artist/artworks BY FAR was/were those of Ian Hamilton Finlay. The Least Intelligent artist/artworks BY FAR was/ were those of Tom Sachs. The Most Fun to Work With were the two Robert's; Longo and Freeman (with Honorable Mention to the ladies; Cindy Sherman, Elaine Sturtevant and Louise Bourgeois). God Bless You All ... (with one poisonous dwarf, short-ass, obnoxious idiot exception).
Well ... just as the late, great Jack Bruce said;
"The function of the bass, is to make everybody else SOUND GOOD"
So Karl Marx (though I am NOT a fan of his) might have said;
"The function of the free-lance assistant museum WORKER, is to make multi-millionaire 'creative geniuses' (who let other people work for them) LOOK GOOD."
True, true, ... at least many of them were thankful.
But looking up close, behind the hype, and being involved in the action, ... many of the "great artworks of our age" and those who make them, start to pale, considerably.
Perhaps a bit paradoxically, I found that paleness to be a comforting artistic impetus, ... regardless of the problematic fact that so-called Western High Culture still, (since the end of the Gothic Period), emanates primarily from idiot snobs with High Digit Bank Accounts, who their entire lives, have been detached from the necessities of daily survival, and that detachment then becomes further hyper-amplified within an isolated, incestuous "Art World", as is precisely the case in the very large, and highly competitive "Least Intelligent Artist Department".
This detachment of Culture, since the Gothic Age, from everyday normal Society (as if Culture is something "extra" ... as Donald Judd, among others, has also pointed out in his writings)), and just as lethal, the schizophrenic detachment of Politics from real-lived, everyday lives ... will be the doom of the West, if not corrected. On that dark day, The West shall cease to be The Best ... (get in, ... and we'll do the rest).
Marx got it all wrong. The "means of production" belong to anybody who has a brain, a laptop, a blog, and/ or a garage (to start an Apple, Microsoft, or Google Corporation), NOT to the bourgeoisie.
What belongs to the bourgeoisie is High Culture, ... or how many € 30,000,000 Gerhard Richter paintings have YOU purchased today ?
Contemporary Art Museums, being for the most part, mono-blocks of limited, (if not singular) sociopolitical views, (i.e. ... "populist alternative", like present television advertisements) exist largely to show the common folk what the rich people are hanging on their walls these days, if not, ... then why are public institutions spending money they don't have exclusively on those works that The Market spews out ?
What I do (artistically) might be considered to be a kind of Conceptual Underground Folk Art ... American society and culture of the 60's, which formed me, having been a hybrid of high and low technologies and perspectives, and a true melting pot of forms and ideas, with a hearty portion of Irish, Jewish, and Black humor and funkiness in the recipe. In that sense, I'm just doing what all artists have ever done ... namely reacting to the universe through the lens one was given at a certain time and space of eternity ... and I thank the Lord everyday for being born in the time and place I was born.
As far as "content" is concerned, the art world has, to a large extent, become a Garbage Can Collection of populist "woke", "minority", superficial, hypocritical, shallow yet beyond-all-realities over priced wall decorations, and insulting-to-the-intelligence "performances" created by Activists Full of Laxatives (not actually a big change since Kandinsky wrote his book, "Concerning the Spiritual in Art", in 1910).
God Bless ye Art Lovers who can THINK and SEE for yourselves ! ... ye are truly an Endangered Species !
My art is Universalist, in the sense of trying keeping in step with the few high points in Human History ... the Roman Republic and the Italian Renaissance ... but emanating, in my case, (and in contrast to most cultural objects of those periods) from the perspective of down to up ... low to high ... a kind of Visual Bukowski-Ginsberg-Rock-n-Roll-Blues (or American Republic) Perspective. The Subterranean Homesick Blues View of the Universe.
Being the full red blooded (expatriate) American that I am, I have always gravitated more towards INCLUSIVE art forms (i.e. ... films, comics, television, rock n roll, etc. ... as well as the concept of an Inclusive Society), than EXCLUSIVE art forms (supposedly "intellectual" bla, bla bla ... aka, ... Royal Bullshit).
As for the present crisis ... it is truly a disaster, that blockheads such as Adorno, Lukacs, Benjamin and the entire Frankfurter School were so blinded by the IMPERIALISTIC / National "Socialist" Germany they grew up in, (as Karl Popper pointed out) that they were completely incapable of recognizing what true free, democratic, REPUBLICAN art forms ARE, ... i.e. ... American films, music (JAZZ, BLUES, ROCK) and American Industrial Popular Culture, the European equivalents of which were and are truly second rate, if not completely degenerate (the Wollny Effect). ... Baselitz, the East German guy living in Italy, agrees and perceives large portions of European culture to be only empty idiotic-imitations of American culture, ... Hegel, Nietzsche, Hesse (Hermann Hesse's hateful view of America was virtually IDENTICAL to that of Adolf Hitler's), Mann (the SNOB, Non-Plus-Ultra) and countless other's were a pack of Imperialist Bourgeois Culture Vultures looking BACKWARDS through their Racist Continental Telescopes ... viewing America as an inferior image of Europe ... when exactly the OPPOSITE is true.
Like Zombies, the Living-Dead European "intellectuals" ("you're DEAD, you just ain't buried yet" ... as David Bowie's lyrics say) still haven't realized that they actually DIED TWICE in the 20th Century, having committed DOUBLE COMPLETE CULTURAL SUICIDE in TWO World Wars.
The Psychopathic European Religious Wars from the 13th through the 19th Centuries, that left entire countries and tens of thousands of witches smoldering in bonfires, were nothing but child's play compared to the catastrophic Massive Cultural Self-Mutilation and devastating Intellectual Self-Decapitation of Europe in the 20th Century, ... which resulted in the most extreme BRAIN DRAIN in the history of humanity.
To top the dilemma off, ... not unlike Moby Dick's last ramming of the Pequod as it was already half sunk ... the Ultra-Zombies of Lyotard, Baudrillard and Derrida come along, postwar, and ram the sinking West with their obscure, MEANINGLESS (to quote Noam Chomsky's critique), fascist, divisive, idiotic drivel, ... thus spreading the "Plague of Postmodernism" as Camille Paglia calls it, over the last remaining fragile embers of Western artistic freedom.
Paglia being perhaps the most knowledgeable Art Historian in the USA, who is not only humorous (a feminist novum), ... but a courageous lesbian professor who has paid the Cancel Culture price for her critical views on fourth wave feminism and the serious "social justice" problematic on American campuses.
This Critical Theory Zombie Disaster has thus resulted in (what is left of) the Truly Democratic Free Forms of Western Culture coming under attack, from the interior and exterior, by multitudes of Pretentious Orwellian Self-Righteous "Woke" Thought-Police, ... of whom the New Imbecilic Postmodern Flagellants of Cancel Culture Competitive Victimology are comprised.
Therefore, ... it is of the utmost importance that, (to almost quote Jim Morrison);
"TRUE SAILING BE NOT DEAD ... and those sullen and aborted currents breed NOT tiny Monsters" ...
That Rock & Roll BE Here To Stay ... and that, ... as Bruce Nauman nearly said;
"The True Artist Continues Revealing Mystical Truths" ...
even though, as far as "the truth" goes ... I tend to agree with Salvador Dali who said;
"The TRUTH is something, only for IDIOTS".
(and to throw one last (but not least), Cunningly Crafty Quote into the pot) ...
As some clever old white toxic male pale-faced nutcase bearded bastard beatnik said (I think it was me);
"THOUGH THE SITUATION IS HOPELESS, THAT IS NO REASON TO LOSE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR."
1988- ... Graphic Biennale Cracow, Poland
1989- ... "D&S" Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany
1996- ... "Connections" Academy of Design, Budapest
1997- ... "Emotional Geometry" Barlach Halle K, Hamburg
1999- ... "There, there is no there" Barlach Raum K, Hamburg
1999- ... "The Searchers" ArtistsSpace, New York City, curated by Robert Longo
2000- ... "Everything Now" Barlach Halle K, Hamburg
2007- ... "SchönWahnSinnig" Schloß Gottorf, Schleswig, Germany
2005-2012- ... "The Skeleton Song Electroacoustic Aleatoric Diary Part 1"
including the ... "Canyon of the Dead Heroes", performance,
Galerie der Gegenwart, Kunsthalle Hamburg 2005, ... as part of the "Back to Space" exhibition
accompanied by diverse live performances (throughout/ till 2012) at XWHQ ...
Experimental World Headquarters, Hamburg
resulting in an 80 CD compilation;
"The Skeleton Songs of Never Ending Song Endings Compilation" (2012)
2018- ... "G3 Extended" ... performance (sound/film),
with Rhys Chatham, Robert Longo, and others,
Deichtorhallen, Hamburg ... (as part of the exhibition titled; "Proof")
Currently working on, "The Book of Everything ... ACHTUNG YE MOTHERS ! " (working title) ...
Graphics, Drawings, Paintings, Stories, Poems, Theories, Parables, Lectures, Songs & Rants
The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California
Special Collections, The IRVING SANDLER PAPERS; Series I, Artists 1914 - 2001
Correspondences ... Box 33 / 24