Endogen Depression—Turkeys and TV sets

The art installation "Endogen Depression," by Wolf Vostell, consisted of 30 television sets, partially cast in concrete, and five live turkeys.

Vostell presented this installation once in the U.S., at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, in December 1980.

source: LA Public Library

Text from the LA Times (Dec 17, 1980):

Vostell, an artist of international repute, has a history of casting expensive devices in concrete to "cancel their presence." Television sets are a favorite target, but he once sealed an entire Cadillac in cement in Chicago. At LAICA, some of the sets are dead or completely covered in concrete, but most have at least part of their screen exposed. They drone on and on with soap operas, talk shows and afternoon Westerns...

Vostell means to contrast the sophistication of TVs and turkeys. The birds win handily. He also feels we can learn more from reputedly stupid turkeys than from television, but the comparison may not be a fiar one. The TV drone is so familiar and the programming so low-level, we quickly accept it as easily tuned-out background noise. Turkeys, on the other hand, look downright exotic to city folks who have never encountered one off a serving dish and wearing its feathers.

You can check out a video of the turkeys and TVs from the 1980 event at vimeo.com (embedding was disabled).
     Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 18, 2022
     Category: Art | Television | 1980s

Also, the turkeys have the unfair advantage of not being cast in concrete. I bet a concretified turkey is as stupid and uninspiring as a television in that state.
Posted by Richard Bos on 12/18/22 at 09:08 AM
I saw nothing on his Wikipedia page about showing his work in the USSR, which is probably fortunate for him. Khrushchev may have jailed him.

Vostell's joint sculptures with Salvador DalĂ­ sound especially bizarre. One was 20 motorcycles of the Spanish Guardia Civil from the time of the Franco regime, displayed vertically, with Wagner opera music.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 12/18/22 at 10:49 AM
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