Grey Room

A Logistical Inversion: From Konrad Lueg to Konrad Fischer

Michael Sanchez

Roy Lichtenstein. Woman Cleaning, 1962. Reproduced in Barbara Rose, “Dada Then and Now,” Art International, January 1963.


As a German pop artist, Lueg did not “grow up,” as he put it, under his father’s name, but “under the ‘sign’” of American pop. Although he would adopt his mother’s name, Lueg also dreamt that by dropping his father’s name he could take the name of another “higher being,” from another continent—that of Lichtenstein. In the window of the Kaiserstrasse 31A exhibition, Lueg exhibited a box of OMO detergent on an electric-pink chair by Kuttner titled Heilige Stuhl (Holy seat) (1963). Similarly, in Leben mit Pop: Eine Demonstration für den kapitalistischer Realismus (Life with pop: a demonstration for capitalist realism), a 1963 happening organized by Lueg and Richter in a local furniture store, Lueg sat on a chair next to a television, in the position of receiving its broadcasts. For an artist to sit on the Holy Seat was for that artist to become a medium for transmissions from “higher beings” (in a “telepathic sitting,” as Polke put it). When he placed his box of OMO on Kuttner’s Holy Seat, Lueg modified the box in a particular way. He inverted the M to a W to form OWO, the W becoming a middle term between two Os, akin to grains of detergent powder or dots in a raster. From OMO to OWO, from Mann (man) to Weib (woman), Fischer to Lueg: for Lueg to identify himself as a medium for pop was to understand mediation in biological terms, like the female mediums in von Schrenck-Notzing’s telepathic sittings. That is, it was to take his mother’s maiden name.