A book presentation with live, public conversation in between Nico Dockx & Dennis Tyfus –
I know this sounds quite ridiculous but I just follow the line
Nico Dockx talks with Dennis Tyfus 12.07.2017 – 12.07.2018
In much, if not all, printed matter that the artist Dennis Tyfus produces on his own label Ultra Eczema he invites, engages, and collaborates with other artists, writers, musicians. His work is about many different things and one can perhaps even say that Ultra Eczema is a sort of production platform rather than just a regular record label. It is also a communication tool that enriches and enlarges his personal network of friends and collaborations. His artists’ books speak for themselves as they are simply things he really wants to publish, sometimes in conjunction with events, performances, or exhibitions —and sometimes just out of the necessity to share this work with friends. The great diversity of vinyl records that he releases are at best the product of collaborations in which the audio is created by musicians, artists, or performers he invites for a project. As part of his practice, Dennis Tyfus always designs and makes the artwork for these record sleeves. In most cases he tries to mix and collage both audio and visual materials. The personal relationship he has with other artists is the most important aspect in realizing all these collaborations. A lot of the music that Ultra Eczema releases is from Antwerp, as it totally makes sense—as a protest against forgetting—to document and record what is happening or what has happened in this small harbour city. Antwerp is pretty much known for its experimental music, fashion, and art, but there is still so much more to discover. Dennis Tyfus wants to support, release, and communicate both his own practice as well as other people’s practices and all of this happens because there is an immediate and mutual understanding of each other’s work. It is all based on notions of friendship and commoning. Then again, collectivity brings its own difficulties. Sometimes, he has the feeling that collectivity is not feeding his energy but rather stopping it from taking place. He always has very clear ideas about the how and what of making a vinyl record, a book, an installation, a film, a performance, an architectural object. I guess this makes him a difficult, although very interesting and challenging character within any sort of group dynamics. A while ago—as part of our one-year long interview— DennisTyfus told me how he visited an exhibition of Assemble at the Architekturzentrum in Vienna. He told me that he was blown away by their work and their ideas as well as by their collective working attitude. And, to quote the artist: ‘This (positive) power of many hands joined together.‘ Even though, in many cases, past experiences have indicated that collectivity is not where Dennis Tyfus functions at his best, there are a number of artists he has been working with for many years now and these collaborations are based on mutual understanding, humor, and especially a love for art. For example, the artist Vaast Colson, with whom he created many duo exhibitions and also ran two alternative art spaces (Gunther and Stadslimiet) for presenting and supporting a huge diversity of contemporary art forms. And, at this very moment, Dennis Tyfus —together with artists Peter Fengler and Vaast Colson as well as curator Helena Kritis— runs the project space Pinkie Bowtie. On the occasion of his Enfant Terrine exhibition at project space 1646 in The Hague, Dennis Tyfus invited me —Nico Dockx— to interview him. On 12 July 2017, I started sending him one question every day and our conversation continued until 12 July 2018. Dennis Tyfus responded with both texts and relevant images from his personal archives. Our interview of 365 questions and answers will be released very soon as a monograph publication of Dennis Tyfus on Nico Dockx’ label Curious.
image: Untitled (portrait of Dennis Tyfus), polaroid photograph, Nico Dockx, 2018