“Dysfunctional Comedy,” artist’s talk and book presentation by Olav Westphalen
“Dysfunctional Comedy,” Sternberg Press, co-edited with Lívia Páldi, documents a series of public events, performances, and workshops conceptualized by German-American artist Olav Westphalen and organized with different partners, mainly in Sweden, between 2012 and 2015. An intersection of practices, ideas, and images, this artist’s book/catalogue engages with representatives of different traditions and genres in comedic and cartoonist practices to reflect on the rich history of stand-up comedy and political satire.
The publication features more than fifteen artists and writers who engage with a variety of comedic techniques, often as a way to subvert the strategies and themes of stand-up comedy and rethink artistic performativity and audience participation. Public speech and the ways of addressing sensitive issues, stereotypes, taboos, and power relations are also examined, not only to seek new modes of public address, but to look critically at the art world and cultural-political operations, conservatism, and inflexibility.
Dysfunctional Comedy. A Reader
Sternberg Press 2016
Edited by Lívia Páldi, Olav Westphalen
Contributions by Aron Flam, Anna Kinbom, Lars-Erik Hjertström Lappalainen, Sally O’Reilly, Lívia Páldi, Roee Rosen, Olav Westphalen
Olav Westphalen is a German-American artist whose conceptual works take the form of games, experiments, drawings and cartoons. He plays both sides of the HI-LO divide, producing mass-media comedy and showing in museums and galleries such as The Whitney Museum, ICA London, The Swiss Institute NY, Moderna Museet etc. He is a member of Rattelschneck, a cartoonist’s-collective based in Berlin. He is also a Professor at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm.