Michael Riedel: CV
ELVIA WILK: In preparation for this conversation I looked over your CV, which says your upcoming show at Kunsthalle Zürich is in fact titled CV. An artist's CV is one of those pieces of art-world "metadata"–content about content–that your work so often revolves around. How will the exhibition deal with this particular metadata?
MICHAEL RIEDEL: Whenever I do a show, I get an automatic reply: a new note in my CV. This creates new text material for me to work with that will end up in the paintings or installations I'm making. This kind of irritation, this performative paradox, interests me.
EW: So the artwork generates a kind of feedback loop, where each exhibition in your CV forms material for the next exhibition?
MR: Yes. This kind of process has been my practice for the last twenty years, but with this show I think it comes to a point where it gets really clear.
EW: Where do you locate meaning in that kind of feedback cycle in which metadata becomes the content?
MR: The meaning is not related to the content. It's more about the process and about how I produce work. I'm interested in the possibility of always continuing, of never coming to a point where the work is finished–even though there are defined finished works along the way, and also defined starting points.
EW: Does the CV exhibition have a defined starting point, or is it more a retrospective?
MR: It's not a retrospective, even though there are some early works from the 1990s in addition to the new production. The starting point for the show was this idea of adding the letter "S" to my signature–Michael S. Riedel–a kind of artificial figure, so that I could be someone who creates the artist and not be the artist myself.