Michael Hofstetter, _oethe soll bleiben, 1999


The piece "_oethe soll bleiben" is composed of two open boxes, a white one enclosing a black one packaged inside a transparent "X-mas" bag. On the white box is an article of the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" printed on October 4th, 1999.

In this article, Dietrich Dietrichson a German pop musician theorist draws a line between Charles Manson, Woodstock and the German philosopher Theodor Adorno, who lived in exile during World War II in Los Angeles. Adorno, a father of the Hippie movement, stated that there is no true life in a wrong one.

Printed on the black box is a photograph of a contemporary living room in Los Angeles. This room represents archetypal normal life with its sofa, table, armchairs, a collection of framed dead butterflies on the wall, an African totem mask from the last Africa trip. Both boxes and the bag are destroyed from bullets of a 9 mm pistol. The shots penetrate first the image of the

living room, then exit the front through the article. The accumulation of bullet holes in the portrait of Manson, which is part of the article, makes obvious that he was the target of my shooting.

"_oehte soll bleiben" refers to the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Sharon Tate, the actress-wife of "Dance of the Vampire" director Roman Polanski, Jay Sebring and three other victims in their home in Los Angeles.Members of the Manson gang killed these people on August 9, 1969. By shooting the pregnant Sharon Tate, the killers also murdered the growing life inside her belly.

As Manson states: "if they went through your bedrooms with butcher knifes you will know the truth." This crime targets the symbolic state of "pregnancy, "living room" and "home" as seen as the most innocent, harmless, peaceful and protected space of all.

Los Angeles is an accumulation of sole houses surrounded by nature filled with comfortable furniture. This represents the ultimate destination of the movement of western civilization. This city is a space of dwelling, more than a transitional space to stay temporarily.

When Manson attacks this space and kills a pregnant woman he destroys the last refuge of mainstream living and thinking in the culture of capitalist western civilization. MansonĂ­s former target, the living room, the most venerable space of the western civilization has already integrated Manson as a crazy horror furniture. The living room shoots back when the TV transmits a documentary about Manson, his crimes and their background. Both living room and Manson are 20 years later subsumed under the condition of pop culture which is illustrated best by the phenomena of Marilyn Manson, a pop musician who chooses these names not to open a contradiction but to let them both work to support his personality like a logo.

Michael Hofstetter