conversations – Interview by Anika Meier – 24.04.2023
10 UNEXPECTED FACTS ABOUT ANDY KASSIER
CONCEPTUAL ART & PERFORMANCE
“Success is only a smile away,” says Andy Kassier. His hair and his smile are on point; the shoes and the Lamborghini are gleaming. Andy Kassier is super rich. His looks are dazzling, he is well dressed and never leaves the house without his smile. And of course, he always happens to be just where the sun is shining.
Andy Kassier has everything one needs to celebrate the art of the good life on social media: a smartphone and a mobile network. They allow him to always be at the right place at the right time. “I hate to spend money. Nothing is mine, but everything could be,” he says. “I don’t care about possession, I care about possibilities,” he explains. “What can you do without spending money?” Andy Kassier shows what is possible without having a bundle of cash. In this way, he wants to criticize success and coldness in the new meritocracy. Andy Kassier plays along on social media, but he does not exactly play fair. In actual fact, he cheats like everyone else, only he overdoes it without having to blush. And that is exactly as it should be: the exaggeration of self-promotion and self-improvement, the sarcasm and the irony, the art of trolling, as one could also say—all are part of his concept. He wants to be seen as a concept artist. Descriptions such as Post-Internet art or Net art, however, are also apt. He does not mind categorizations.
What does it mean to be perfect, an influencer, and to have prestige? Andy Kassier concentrates on the supposedly fundamental relationship between wealth and happiness. By asking the seemingly banal question of what constitutes happiness, he problematizes various aspects of wealth, greed, beauty, gender, narcissistic behavior, the good life, and the subject’s need of a self-image in late modernity.
Under the programmatic title “success is just a smile away,” German conceptual artist Andy Kassier tells the story of a self-made man driven by money and success. However, in the process Kassier over-worked himself. In spring 2019, a burnout drove him into the sea and he disappeared for half a year. Now he—and his character— are practicing self-love and self-care. He no longer lives on the fast lane. Still high above the ground, of course, he now sits on a swing in the midst of nature. “A stable job is a sign of weakness,” he once claimed. Today, he is on a path of self-discovery through yoga and meditation. With the help of alternative healing methods, he hopes to recalibrate his work-life balance. He takes time off to pause and think about things. His mirror reminds him: “Time to reflect.” Kassier lives in the here and now. Art allows him to maintain a mental equilibrium.
Andy Kassier is not an artist name.
Andy Kassier goes to bed at 9 p.m. and gets up at 5:30 a.m.
Andy Kassier meditates for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.
Andy Kassier's diet is vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free. He doesn't drink coffee, tea or alcohol.
Andy Kassier has not spent a winter in Germany since 2014, he winters in South Africa.
Andy Kassier only listens to audio books on the subject of self-help at double speed.
Andy Kassier's role model is Naval Ravikant, the co-founder of AngelList.
Andy Kassier drives a blue Fiat Panda from the 1980s.
Andy Kassier travels to all the places in the world where his photographs are taken.
Andy Kassier builds sand castles on the beach in his spare time.
The conceptual artist Andy Kassier (*1989) lives and works in Berlin. His work includes installations, performances, photography, videos, sculptures and painting. In 2018, he graduated with distinction in Media Arts from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, where he studied with Mischa Kuball and Johannes Wohnseifer, among others.
In 2013, he created his alter ego Andy Kassier, who ironically breaks the narrative of wealth and happiness in late capitalist society. On Instagram and in international solo and group exhibitions, he continuously develops the long-term performance according to the current zeitgeist. How does photography change in the digital age, when images become the medium of communication and at the same time the medium of photography is expanded through performances and livestreams? In exhibition spaces, Kassier sets up installations and performs and streams live on social media.
Kassier observes phenomena in social media and the development of digital image cultures. Based on his findings, he searches in his artistic work for answers to currently socially relevant questions: What is happiness? ("the science of happiness", Pop; 68, Cologne, 2016) How do I become successful? ("On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Performance Artist. Andy Kassier and Signe Pierce", NRW- Forum Düsseldorf, 2018) How is masculinity portrayed? ("How To Take A Selfie", Goethe-Zentrum Baku, Azerbaijan, 2019) How do I accept myself? ("Link in Bio. Art After Social Media", Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, 2019/2020) What is the role of the artist in the digital age? ("palm down", HANZ.studio, Gallery Weekend Berlin, 2020).