16 / 11 / 02 – 15 / 12 / 02
Exhibition / Films / Talks / Performance

Von Citizen Tania zu Patty Hearst (2002)
Schürmann Collection (D)


Installation views in the exhibition, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2002

When haus.0 opened in 1999, Wilhelm Schürmann for the Aachener collectors group TwoDo, lent the program the Mel Chin / GALA Committee work “Shooters Bar” from the TV series Melrose Place, as an extended loan. This artwork, TV prop, and actual meeting point “Shooters Bar” began operating on the 4th floor of the Künstlerhaus. It ran for two years until its resituation in 2001 to a museum context in Düsseldorf and its notions of artwork.

The “Shooter’s Bar” not only offered its skewed centering presence of social interaction around a play of history and identity, it also embodied a constellation of scripts and social aspects of meetings, screenings, talks and exhibitions. It included the introduction to the work of artist Mel Chin, whose “Revival Fields” project then began in collaboration with University of Hohenheim, and served as well within another script “Melrose Plays”, a script workshop led by author/filmmaker Rainer Kirberg.

Works in the exhibition:
l:Edgar Arceneaux, Untitled (2000)
r:Raymond Pettibon, Flyer for Black Flag (1982)
r:Raymond Pettibon, (1982)

>redirect, the last haus.0 exhibition project in Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, in the same location that once held the bar now displays “Von Citizen Tania to Patty Hearst” from the Schürmann collection. This second contribution in 2002, by Wilhelm Schürmann closes a circle that began in 1999 with the loan of the Melrose Place bar in the framework of the first haus.0 project “open haus”.

This segment "Von Citizen Tania…" refers – like the bar – to a unique process of enculturation, here represented by Patricia Hearst’s infamous transformation to her new name and character, ‘Tania’. “Citizen Tania” is an assembled world of representations reflecting within “the Patricia Hearst story” - a condensation of a specifically American form of socialization that is rarely made apparent until something happens: for example - a kidnapped heiress of the media magnate Hearst (whose own father was the model for Welles “Citizen Kane”) who herself became then a member of her captors, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), long enough to be photographed assisting a bank robbery in her new alias as “Tania”.

The eventual undoing of that with the ensuing trial taking place over the American media, refit the storyline to the wished for ending, clearing the way for Hearst to be resurrected as a multiple media icon, joining American counter- with celebrity- culture, rationalized thru tabloids such as People and Enquirer. Two decades after the actual kidnapping episode that set in motion the conversion from Patty to Tania and back, the cultural icons are synthesized within Hearst’s appearance as a guest-star in her own story, situated in a film parody directed by John Waters.

Showcase displaying various materials related to Patty
Hearst, compiled by Wilhelm Schürmann

As the collector Wilhelm Schürmann has noted his interest in the circulation of contemporary Patty/Tania icons began with a Cady Noland work, “SLA Group Shot”, which included a photo taken from the time period of Hearst’s captivity. The oscillating identity of Patty and Tania fits within a society represented in Noland’s use of icons resituated back from media into art to operate like cultural dialog partners. The acquisition of this work initiated the scripting of a new route through Schürmann’s interest as a collector. This manifests as a segment of his collection, one identity of it apparent in the morphing and shaping throughout previous presentations – now here entitled “Von Citizen Tania zu Patty Hearst”.

It routes through and finds connections between the flotsam that indicates the explosive events turning a person into a cultural icon. Their transformation into objects to be circulated in American culture and art, in turn links to a specific strategy of collecting. This mirrors another form of enculturation, which narrates the role of the art collector inside of and as an ongoing process of symbiotic discoveries of identities.

Collection of magazines, compiled by Wilhelm Schürmann