NEW YORK, NY.- During the 1990s a number of artists claimed the exhibition as their medium. Working independently or in various collaborative constellations, they eschewed the individual object in favor of the exhibition environment as a dynamic arena, ever expanding its physical and temporal parameters. For these artists, an exhibition can comprise a film, a novel, a shared meal, a social space, a performance, or a journey. Using the museum as a springboard for work that reaches beyond the visual arts, their practices often commingle with other disciplines such as literature, architecture, design, and theater, engaging directly with the vicissitudes of everyday life to offer subtle moments of transformation.
The exhibition brings together ten artists who exemplify this creative impulse: Angela Bulloch, Maurizio Cattelan, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Jorge Pardo, Philippe Parreno, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. While these artists all employ markedly different aesthetic strategies and do not constitute a formally affiliated group, their varying practices are conceptually unified by a mutual rethinking of the early modernist impulse to conflate art and life, and, thereby, to resist representation. In the process, the artists attempt to engender a kind of activated spectatorship, often by creating works that absorb and extend the conventions of museum practice.
What is most striking about this loose affiliation of artists, all of whom emerged during the early 1990s and now boast strong, independent careers, is that they periodically and randomly join forces to create a variety of projects ranging from co-directing films, to purchasing the copyright for a Japanese Manga character and franchising her image, to initiating a land reclamation project in rural Thailand. Invited to collectively formulate a scenario for the exhibition, one that would reflect and articulate the unique nature of their practice, the ten artists determined that the presentation should comprise a series of unique projects that would intersect and overlap in the museum’s spiraling rotunda.
Organized by the museum’s Chief Curator, Nancy Spector, in close collaboration with the artists, this layered exhibition will thus reflect the dialectic between the group and the individual that informs their shared histories.