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John Cage, “‘Rolywholyover A Circus’ for Museum by John Cage,” 1993 – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #1

by mousse

August 28~2015

Rolywholyover, installation view of “Circus,” LA MoCA, 1993

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“Rolywholyover    A Circus” for Museum by John Cage, 1993

by Sandra Skurvida

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #1 – in Mousse #42

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Prior to Rolywholyover, Cage experimented with the museum as medium in several smaller exhibitions, including a room-size sound and light environment Writing Through the Essay, ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’ (1985/91), commissioned for documenta 8, Kassel (1987), which involved periodically changing display elements. This changing display was further developed with the addition of works by invited artists in Changing Installation at the Mattress factory for the Carnegie International, Philadelphia (1991). And the exhibition Kunst als Grenzbeschreitung: John Cage und die Moderne at the Neue Pinakothek Munich (1991) introduced objects borrowed from other museums in the region and displayed them ahistorically according to chance operations. Rolywholyover comprised these previously tested modes of chance-generated composition in the four “movements” of the composition:  [1] “Museumcircle,” comprised of decontextualized objects loaned by local museums; “Circus,” a changing display of works by artists of the Cage circle; “Cage Gallery,” dedicated to his visual art works; and “Media space,” dedicated to media and performance works.

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Marcel Broodthaers, “Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section des Figures,” 1972 – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #5

by mousse

August 28~2015

Marcel Broodthaers opening his Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section XIXème Siècle, Brussels, September 1968

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Marcel Broodthaers, Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section des Figures, 1972

by Dirk Snauwaert

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #5 – in Mousse #46

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This Museum is a fictitious museum. It plays the role of, on the one hand, a political parody of art shows, and on the other hand an artistic parody of political events. Which is in fact what official museums and institutions like documenta do. With the difference, however, that a work of fiction allows you to capture reality and at the same time what it conceals.

—Marcel Broodthaers [1]

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Mark Leckey, “UniAddDumThs,” 2014-15 – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #8

by mousse

August 27~2015

Installation view of The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, “Monster” section, Hayward Touring exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, 2013

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Mark Leckey, UniAddDumThs, 2014-15

by Elena Filipovic

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #8 – in Mousse #49

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The spectacular rise of the Internet and contemporary technological advances, from bionics to cybernetics, has created a world that is changing rapidly regarding new materials, and also generating an entirely new sense of materialism. All of this constitutes the backdrop to Leckey’s post-digital, late-capitalist exhibition. Call it a bachelor-machine-as-exhibition [1]. Things (real and their avatars) and a long- ing to touch and possess them—indeed, to find some sort of intimacy with them (as the artist himself would be the first to tell you)—are the gas that fuels this machine. So, too, is a certain promiscuous relationship to originality and an endless desire, as it were, to reproduce. And indeed, from The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things emerged the actual subject of this essay: the ambiguous, unpronounceable thing that is UniAddDumThs (2014–15). Somewhere between an artist-curated exhibition and an eerie, substitute, life-size copy of an artist-curated exhibition, not to mention paradoxically an artwork in itself, UniAddDumThs is ontologically unstable to the extreme. Titled to acknowledge both its filiation with The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things and the digital world that made it possible (“UniAddDumThs” reads as a sort of file-name-extension version of the original title, like “jpeg” or “mp3,” or even the abbreviated speech of the digital world, with its LOLs and WTFs), it even more profoundly and certainly more troublingly tackles the questions of the real and its simulacrum at the heart of the “original” from which it sprang.

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Martha Rosler, “If You Lived Here…,” 1989 – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #3

by mousse

August 27~2015

Martha Rosler, Housing Is a Human Right (still), a short animation produced by The Public Art Fund, 1989

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Martha Rosler, If You Lived Here…, 1989

by Nina Möntmann

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #3 – in Mousse #44

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In If You Lived Here…, Rosler, who avoided the title of curator, tied the locally oriented, deliberately “deprofessionalized” practice of self-organized alternative spaces of the late 1960s and 1970s together with curatorial approaches that would later be considered pillars of the so-called New Institutionalism. New Institutionalism arose in the late 1900s and early 2000s and explicitly sought to critically shift the nature of institutions from within. Rosler’s decision to situate her tension-packed project within an established institution, along with her rethinking of established exhibition formats, anticipated curatorial approaches that would later become widespread practices. While those who ran alternative spaces often deliberately shunned exhibiting in institutions and galleries, positioning themselves strictly on the periphery of the art world, New Institutionalism offered an internalized critique from within the institutions themselves. This critique was no longer seen as a critical activity conducted solely by artists within and against an institution (and limited to the exhibition format), but was instead deployed at the level of institutional administration and programming by curators themselves, who initiated a drive for critique and structural change together with artists.

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Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore, “an Exhibit,” 1957 – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #1

by mousse

August 26~2015

an Exhibit, view of the installation process, ICA, London, 1957 (left to right: Richard Hamilton, Victor Pasmore)

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Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore, an Exhibit, 1957

by Isabelle Moffat

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #1 – in Mousse #42

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The 1957 exhibition titled an Exhibit, in which Richard Hamilton played a central conceptual role, might initially seem somewhat incongruous for the British Pop artist. Most famous for combining pictures of consumer goods from ads into highly charged but coolly meticulous composites, his work foregrounds the contingency of our visual world, its constant reformulations owing to the influences of mass media, technology, and science. Even his flirtations with abstraction always left iconic traces intact: the curve of a car’s tailfin, the low-cut cleavage of a woman’s dress, the reflective side of a braun toaster turned monochrome, or petits Guggenheims covered in gold leaf. Hamilton’s work, in short, is not known for an absence of images, and yet one of this artist’s most important projects, an Exhibit, contained no images at all.

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Hélio Oiticica, “Apocalipopótese,” 1968 – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #8

by mousse

August 26~2015

Left – Miro de Mangueira with P2 Parangolé Flag 1, Opinião 65, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, 1965
Right – The poet and composer Torcuato Neto wearing P4 Parangolé Cape 1 (1964) at Apocalipopótese, Atêrro do Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, 1968

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Hélio Oiticica, Apocalipopótese, 1968

by Monica Amor and Carlos Basualdo

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #8 – in Mousse #49

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A lengthy and revealing letter from Oiticica to Lygia Clark dated October 15, 1968, indicates that his earlier embrace of the outcast, developed in the context of the favela, had become by that time an ideological position against the increasingly brutal “terrorism of the right” (terrorismo de direita). [1]  The latter, as the critic Roberto Schwartz observed in 1969, involved a series of dramatic side effects: “the massive return of everything that modernization had left behind; it was the revenge of the provinces, of small proprietors, of sexual and religious prudery, of small-time lawyers, etc.” [2]  Oiticica invoked in this letter Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, and mobilized terms familiar to an intercontinental generation (in Europe and the Americas) aspiring to revolt: freedom, marginality, alienated and non-alienated work, repression, censorship. That last, observed Oiticica, was being deployed, viciously, against the theatrical productions of José Celso Martinez Corrêa (to whom Apocalipopótese was dedicated), which Schwarz described in terms of insult, brutality, scandal, outrageous offense, and attack on the audience. [3]  In the letter Oiticica credited Duarte with inventing the term Apocalipopótese as a new concept for a type of mediating object for participation.  [4] Not political participation, as with some theater of the period related to the traditional left, but liberating participation—non-instrumental participation aimed at the forging of radical subjectivity outside norms and social constraints.

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Andy Warhol, “Raid the Icebox I, with Andy Warhol,” 1969 – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #7

by mousse

August 25~2015

Installation view of Raid the Icebox I, with Andy Warhol, Isaac Delgado Museum, New Orleans, 1970

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Andy Warhol, Raid the Icebox I, with Andy Warhol, 1969

by Anthony Huberman

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #7 – in Mousse #48

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The artist (along with his entourage, museum staff, and, on at least one occasion, Dominique de Menil) worked his way through the storage rooms [of the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)] and gleefully announced “I’ll take that!” whenever he saw something he liked, like an excited and spoiled shopper (“Pop art,” he once quipped in an interview, “is liking things.” [1]) He ended up with 11 categories: drawings and watercolors, paintings, sculptures, band-boxes and hatboxes, baskets, ceramics, chairs, costume accessories (footwear), costume accessories (parasols and umbrellas), textiles, and wallpaper, ranging in dates from 1000 BC (ceramics by mound builders in Arkansas) to 1966, with the vast majority dating from the 19th century. Of the paintings and drawings, most were portraits. Of the 404 works, all but 44 were anonymous.  [2] When she was told that Warhol wanted to exhibit the entire shoe collection, the museum’s costume curator said, with the tone of a schoolteacher, “Well, you don’t want it all, because there’s some duplication.” Upon hearing this, Bourdan recounts, Warhol “raised his eyebrows and blinked.” [3]

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Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann, and Max Jorge Hinderer, “The Potosí Principle,” 2010 – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #4

by mousse

August 25~2015

Installation view of The Potosí Principle, showing Harun Farocki’s The Silver and the Cross (2010), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2010

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Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann, and Max Jorge Hinderer, The Potosí Principle, 2010

by Alexander Alberro

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #4 – in Mousse #45

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The central focus of the show was on the history and representations of the silver mountain of Potosí in a part of viceroyal Peru that is now Bolivia. The indigenous population had mined the extraordinary mountain’s 300-foot outcropping of silver ore from time to time, but when Spanish colonizers pushed south in the 1540s following their conquest of the Inca, everything about Potosí changed. By 1545, Spanish miners had begun tearing the mountain away. From then on, for half a century, the boom around the incredibly rich hill developed fantastically. Potosí began to generate a lot of traffic, with the stream of silver from its mines encircling the globe. By the early 1600s, the city’s population was close to 200,000, which made it one of the world’s biggest, and certainly the largest human community in the Western hemisphere. Through all this magnificent growth, silver was the allure, the driving force, the definitive prize. It is said that at the height of its startling prosperity, the sidewalks of Potosí were paved with silver, and even the horses of the city were shod with the lustrous, highly malleable metal. The Spanish never found the legendary city of El Dorado, but they certainly unearthed a fabulous mountain of silver. The Cerro Rico (Rich Hill), as it came to be called, bankrolled the Spanish empire for nearly two centuries.

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THE ARTIST AS CURATOR – SUMMER SPECIAL

by mousse

August 24~2015

Issue #0 – in Mousse #41
When Exhibitions Become Form: On the History of the Artist as Curator – Elena Filipovic

Issue #1 – in Mousse #42
Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore, an Exhibit, 1957 – Isabelle Moffat
John Cage, “Rolywholyover    A Circus” for Museum by John Cage, 1993 – Sandra Skurvida

Issue #2 – in Mousse #43
Avant-Garde Argentinian Visual Artists Group, Tucumán Burns, 1968 – Ana Longoni
Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno, The Trial of Pol Pot, 1998 – Dean Inkster
(SOLD OUT)

Issue #3 – in Mousse #44
Martha Rosler, If You Lived Here…, 1989 – Nina Möntmann
Walid Raad and Akram Zaatari, Mapping Sitting: On Portraiture and Photography, 2002 – Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

Issue #4 – in Mousse #45
Group Material, AIDS Timeline, 1989 – Claire Grace
Andreas Siekmann, and Max Jorge Hinderer, The Potosí Principle, 2010 – Alexander Alberro

Issue #5 – in Mousse #46
Marcel Broodthaers, Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section des Figures, 1972 – Dirk Snauwaert
Philippe Thomas, Feux pâles, 1990 – Elisabeth Lebovici

Issue #6 – in Mousse #47
Mel Bochner, Working Drawings And Other Visible Things On Paper Not Necessarily Meant To Be Viewed As Art, 1966 – James Meyer
Hank Bull, Shen Fan, Zhou Tiehai, Shi Yong, and Ding Yi, Let’s Talk About Money: Shanghai First International Fax Art Exhibition, 1996 – Biljana Ciric

Issue #7 – in Mousse #48
Andy Warhol, Raid the Icebox I, with Andy Warhol, 1969 – Anthony Huberman
Goshka Macuga, Picture Room, 2003 – Lucy Steeds

Issue #8 – in Mousse #49
Hélio Oiticica, Apocalipopótese, 1968 – Monica Amor and Carlos Basualdo
Mark Leckey, UniAddDumThs, 2014-15 – Elena Filipovic

Issue #9 – in Mousse #50
Coming October 2015

Issue #10 – in Mousse #51
Coming December 2015



When Exhibitions Become Form: On the History of the Artist as Curator – THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #0

by mousse

August 24~2015

Marcel Duchamp, La Boîte-en-valise (The Box in a Valise), 1938–42

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When Exhibitions Become Form: On the History of the Artist as Curator

by Elena Filipovic

from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #0 – in Mousse #41

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A history of the artist as curator remains to be fully written. [1] Publications on the museum, exhibition practices, and even star curators have, in recent years, grown into a veritable cottage industry, with entire bookshelves devoted to the subjects, even though a mere two decades ago one would have been hard pressed to find more than a single volume about them. In the context of long-sustained and venerable art historical scholarship, the history of the exhibition remains a still-nascent, if rapidly expanding, field. Curator figures, from Harald Szeemann and Seth Siegelaub to Lucy Lippard, overshadow that field—their projects, practices, and words garnering significant attention. As I write this, the practice of reconstructing an exhibition, a relatively rare curatorial act before now, has reached new heights with the re-creation of über-curator Szeemann’s landmark 1969 exhibition When Attitudes Become Form, which restages the seminal show almost work by work, square meter by square meter. [2] Against this background, one must wonder: why have exhibitions by artists remained so relatively impervious to historicization?

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Tony Cragg at Lisson Gallery, Milan

by mousse

August 22~2015

Tony Cragg’s first exhibition at the Lisson Gallery Milan consists of several new sculptures in bronze, wood and stone. Alongside these are a number of works on paper. The upright sculptures in the gallery are the result of complex internal formal constructions and geometries that give rise to outer forms that we can recognise, have associations with and give names to. Cragg’s complex polymorphic sculptures reveal aspects of the relationship between the rational internal dynamic of materials and our subjective response to material forms. For Cragg this is not only the essence of all sculpture, but of all our experiences in the world as well. His work is full of movement, growth, dynamism and a sense of wonder at the seemingly unlimited possibilities of sculptural form.

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Pep Vidal “As a Whole” and Valerie Krause “Shifting Volume” at Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin

by mousse

August 21~2015

Pep Vidal “As a Whole”


Galerie Rolando Anselmi is delighted to present “As a Whole”, the first solo show in Germany and in its space in Berlin by Pep Vidal. The artist, linking scientific thought as life experience to his artistic practice, works with the concepts of systems and infinitesimal changes. Very small changes that take place constantly, everywhere, along a chaotic and almost infinite chain. Infinitesimal changes that produce bigger and visible changes.

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“Jean-Luc Moulène. Il était une fois” at the Académie de France à Rome – Villa Medici

by mousse

August 21~2015

The French Academy in Rome—Villa Medici presents the exhibition “Jean-Luc Moulène. Il était une fois,” dedicated to one of the major figures on the international contemporary art scene. The works of Jean-Luc Moulène—objects, photographs, films—express both a permanent reflection on the condition of the artist in society, a radical criticism of the manipulations and seduction of representation, as well as a formal research often tinged with humor and derision.

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Martino Gamper “design is a state of mind” at Museion, Bolzano

by mousse

August 20~2015

In 2011 Museion invited Martino Gamper to design a new format for the ground floor of its building. Following his idea that this project should not only address the physical space, but also its impact on the behaviour of visitors, 2012 saw the opening of the Museion Passage: a flexible, modular space intended to fulfil the demands of different types of events.

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Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz “Loving, Repeating” at Kunsthalle Wien

by mousse

August 19~2015

At Kunsthalle Wien, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz will present three video-based works as part of “Future Light”, the visual art part of the Vienna Biennale 2015. The videos are highly staged scenarios where the past is recreated for a future use and new desires take shape. Amidst glitter, curtains, camouflage patterns, impressive wigs and a certain amount of musical interaction, a form of playful opacity makes itself felt among characters who are deliberately difficult to categorize. Together they make up an atmospheric time-reflective installation, which includes a stage and a series of new sculptures.

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“Los Bar” at Mackey Apartments – MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, Los Angeles

by mousse

August 18~2015

Los Bar. It’s a remarkable scale replica of the famous Loos Bar in Vienna, made from MDF and cardboard. By far the most elegant venue in LA,” responded Oliver Payne and Jeremy Shaw to the question of their favorite hangout in town, in a recent interview with LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division).

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Korakrit Arunanondchai “Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3” at Palais de Tokyo, Paris

by mousse

August 17~2015

“Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3” is the epilogue to a series of works created during the past four years, about the making of a painter. In the present world, where reality and fiction merge together to form diverse paradigms, Korakrit Arunanondchai develops his character: a Thai denim painter. His autobiography, his constructed image as an artist, the social realities of present-day Thailand, and the phenomenon of globalization are mixed together in the exhibition to form what the artist calls “a memory palace.”

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan “The All Hearing” at Laveronica Arte Contemporanea, Modica

by mousse

August 16~2015

Laveronica Arte Contemporanea presents “The All Hearing”, the first solo exhibition in Italy by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, curated by Robert Leckie. Abu Hamdan explores the politics of listening through sound, video, sculpture, performance and installation. Recent works include a trilogy of audio essays that addresses the role of the voice in law, an installation about emergent technologies of audio-surveillance and a map that illustrates the compound genealogies of Somali accents. Insisting on voices as “questionable objects”, Abu Hamdan’s practice probes the ways in which words and how they are said are subject to scrutiny, bureaucracy and injustice at the hands of the state and unpacks the often muddy relationships amongst listening, politics, borders, human rights, testimony and truth.

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