– Spring/Summer 2000

Julie Becker: The Invisible Is Real (Walter De Maria)

Markus Muller

Slavoj Žižek most recently told an anecdote that could easily pass as just another urban legend: a Slovenian friend of his had to return to his office late one evening when he saw a married CEO in an office in the neighbouring building making love to his secretary on a desk. The two were so passionate that they didn't even realize that there was another building from which they could be seen. Žižek's friend called over and when the CEO picked up the phone the friend said: 'God is watching you!' The poor man almost collapsed.1

Just like Julie Becker's work this story is not about the surface structure of the really real but instead leads us to the very core of a psychoanalytical interpretation of the power of imagination (among other things). In 1996, and after three years of work, Becker had completed a project (which she considers to be a part of an ongoing process!)2 entitled Researchers, Residents, a Place to Rest. The project was made up of three parts. First, after entering the exhibition space, there was a waiting room. From there you proceeded into a second area in which two model-like structures were presented raised slightly off the floor. In addition to the models a number of cardboard refrigerator boxes were in what could be called the central space of the installation. The third scenario3 was a room that Julie Becker calls an 'obsessive workshop, storage or resource library'.4

The waiting room - one might think of a hotel, a train station, an airport, a

  1. Slavoj Žižek, Die Kamera liebt dich. Unser Leben als Seifenoper, in Süddeutsche Zeitung, 28 July 2000

  2. Julie Becker, in an unpublished text accompanying Researchers, Residents, a Place to Rest, 1996

  3. One possible hypertextual reference could be Liam Gillick.

  4. J. Becker, op.cit.

  5. Chris Kraus, Julie Becker, in Universalis, 23rd Bienal Internacional de São Paulo, São Paulo, 1996.

  6. Julio Cortazar

  7. See Roland Barthes, Mythologies, New York, 1992

  8. Heinz von Foerster, Kybern Ethik, Berlin, 1993, p.84

  9. Bernhard Bürgi in conversation with Julie Becker in Bernhard Bürgi (ed.), Julie Becker: Researchers, Residents, a Place to Rest, Zürich: Kunsthalle Zürich, 1997

  10. Ibid., p.19

  11. Ibid., p.35

  12. Marjorie Garber, Symptoms of Culture, New York, 2000, p.10

  13. Julie Becker, in an unpublished text accompanying Suburban Legend, 1999

  14. Suburban Legend was part of the exhibition 'Cinéma, Cinéma' at Eindhoven's Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, 13 February-14 May 1999.

  15. J. Becker, Suburban Legend, op. cit.

  16. Ulrike Groos and Markus Muller, Interview with Douglas Gordon, in Make It Funky, Cologne, 1998, p.304

  17. As shown at the Migros Museum, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, 7 November 1999-9 January 2000

  18. As shown at the Migros Museum, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, 7 November 1999-9 January 2000

  19. Julie Becker, Personal Notes for the Golden Force Field, unpublished text accompanying the GFF in Zürich, 1999/1000

  20. See Robert Sheldrake,: A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance, New York, 1995, (reprint) and, by the same author, The Presence of Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, New York, 1995.

  21. R. Barthes, op. cit., p.100.

  22. All the essays in the catalogue for the Carnegie International 1999/2000 explore this question too.