“A Retrospective of Closed Exhibitions” at Fri Art – Centre d’Art de Fribourg Kunsthalle Freiburg
Fri Art proposes a radical retrospective consisting of eleven closures of the art centre space – one following the other – by eleven different artists.
On 19 November, a large celebration will mark the re-opening of Fri Art space, along with the release of a major anthological publication entitled “The Anti-Museum”.
With artists Robert Barry, Daniel Buren, Graciela Carnevale, Maurizio Cattelan, Lefevre Jean Claude, Maria Eichhorn, Swetlana Heger & Plamen Dejanov, Hi Red Center, Santiago Sierra, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Matsuzawa Yutaka.
An exhibition by Mathieu Copeland.
A Retrospective of Closed Exhibition
The “Retrospective of Closed Exhibitions” began on 6 August, the beginning of Fri Art’s official summer break, with Lefevre Jean Claude’s exhibition. Until 19 November, eleven exhibitions closing the art centre will follow one another on an almost weekly basis, thus forming the retrospective. Since the early 1960s, artists have seized the pattern of closing to create works. These historic gestures are reactivated especially for Fri Art, in close collaboration with the artists or their estate. These uncompromising works confront us with the closed space, and invite us to experience their physical, sensory and conceptual reality. Over the course of three months, in an almost Beckettian repetitive mode of a recurrent pattern, but according to highly diverse modes of action, the project approaches the retrospective genre in an experimental way. The exhibition explores the extreme limits of the field of art and defies visitors’ expectations by bringing into play questions as aesthetic as they are political.
Lefevre Jean Claude presents a replica of his 1981 work, which took advantage of the summer closing of the Yvon Lambert gallery in Paris to set out an exhibition that existed only in the text affixed to the gallery windows. A performative work, in the linguistic understanding of the term, which simply announced ‘an exhibition by lefevre jean claude 11.07/31.08 ‘81’. (Until 19 August 2016)
Swetlana Heger & Plamen Dejanov, developed a collaborative practice at the turn of the 2000’s , that offered among others a consideration on the economic conditions of art. In February 1999, they sent Mehdi Chouakri gallery’ staff on holiday, thus closing the space. The original sign for the exhibition announcing the Berlin gallery’s holiday closing is re-installed at Fri Art, closing the space. (From 20 to 26 August 2016)
Echoing the financial crisis that shook Argentina in 2002, Santiago Sierra blocked also in 2002, with the same corrugated iron used by Argentinean banks to protect themselves from their clients, access to another type of financial institution: the Lisson Gallery in London. (From 30 August to 5 September 2016)
For her exhibition presented in October 1968 as part of the Experimental Art Cycle in Rosario, Argentina, Graciela Carnevale locked the visitors inside the gallery without them knowing, thereby mirroring the country’s dictatorial and repressive military regime. After four hours, a passer-by released the spectators in smashing the window. (From 8 to 14 September 2016)
Rirkrit Tiravanija, invited in 2007 to inaugurate Toronto’s OCAD exhibition space, blocked the entrance with cinder-blocks on which he reprised the Situationist slogan ‘Ne Travaillez Jamais (Never Work).’ (From 17 to 23 September 2016)
Robert Barry announced in 1969 that during the exhibition, the Art & Projec, Sperone and Eugenia Butler galleries would be closed. The artist manifested an attack on the gallery system, deliberately presenting himself as ‘anti-gallery’. (From 26 September to 02 October 2016)
In October 1964, at the Naiqua Gallery in Tokyo, with “Ah, Nil, Ah, A Ceremony of Psi’s Secret Embodiment Drowning in the Wilderness: Prototype Exhibition”, Matsuzawa Yutaka affirmed the gallery as an “anti-venue” by closing it. (From 5 to 11 October 2016)
In spring this year, Maria Eichhorn requested that all the entire staff of the Chisenhale Gallery in London withdraw their labour for five weeks, thereby obligatorily closing the art centre for the duration of the 5 weeks, 25 days, 175 hours exhibition by necessity. (From 14 to 20 October 2016)
Maurizio Cattelan, the Italian artist well known for his provocative sculptures depicting the Pope or Hitler, closed the Galleria Neon in Bologna in 1989 for his first solo exhibition, leaving only a sign announcing ‘torno subito’ (‘I’ll be back soon’) visible. (From 22 to 28 October 2016)
For his first solo exhibition at the Apollinaire Gallery in Milan at the end of October 1968, Daniel Buren presented a work that entailed closing the gallery for the exhibition duration by entirely covering over the entrance door with white and green striped wallpaper. With this gesture, the artist created a dialogue between his refusal of the traditional use of the walls and his acceptance of the gallery and some of its purposes. (From 2 to 8 November 2016)
In May 1964, through the “Great Panorama Exhibition”, the experimental art Japanese collective the Hi Red Center closed the Naiqua Gallery in Tokyo. As Akasegawa Genpei noted ‘this great panorama canned up the universe’. (From 13 to 19 November 2016)
Similarly to the last day of the Hi Red Center exhibition at the Naiqua Gallery in 1964, a party marks the reopening of the exhibition space! The public is invited to the Ceremony of nail pulling, and to a big party in the galleries.
at Fri Art – Centre d’Art de Fribourg Kunsthalle Freiburg
until 19 November 2016