German-born multimedia artist Jonathan Meese is showing a new series of his politically and philosophically radical work at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Seeking “maximum precision” Meese offers a graphically reduced but highly alert perspective; mythology, history, characters, symbols, and figures all exist within an exploded sociological determinism. The artist has been producing these approximately 100 large scale lithographs since 2003, based largely on Meese’s desire to work fast, and display his morbid, melted lexicon quickly.
Simultaneously dismembering and “mashing” iconic imagery such as the Mona Lisa or the Iron Cross of National Socialism, Meese seeks to render ideology unnecessary and promote a more absurd consumption of reality. His speeches and performances often call for “total art” or “the dictatorship of art,” a supposed state of grace Meese has previously likened to the feeling you get when you see Scarlett Johansson. By replacing iconography with “total art” or “maximum precision,” Meese has established a space for himself and let some of the air out of the bubble of history.