What do we want to keep? Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein reopens with exhibition of works from the collection

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What do we want to keep? Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein reopens with exhibition of works from the collection
What do we want to keep? Exhibition view Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein. Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography, Zürich © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.

VADUZ.- Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein starts its 2021 exhibition programme with a major collection display featuring numerous works that have never been on show before.

We associate collecting with an ongoing activity, accumulating things over an extended period of time. This is the only way that a collection can come about. However, this continuous flow of a growing collection consists of many individual decisions which involve answering a variety of questions. “Is this object of interest to me, who else may be interested in it?”, “Is this object meaningful, is it complex enough to retain its importance for a long time to come?”, “How are the aspects of relevance for me rendered in formal terms?”, “Does the object tie in with the context of the existing collection?”. These are questions which need to be answered again and again. Whereas private collections are totally free in defining their collecting activities, public collections have an additional duty of legitimation to meet. Therefore, public museums generally set out a collection policy that defines the key parameters in terms of content on which the museum bases its collecting activities.

The title of this presentation is a reference to a newly acquired work by the RELAX group from Zürich. The piece was made in 2018 for the exhibition at the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich and gave the exhibition its title. The artist group explored the question of what is worthy of preserving and keeping after more than one hundred years of collecting, particularly in view of the sprawling range of graphic arts available for collecting. The same question has a different angle to it in this show, which features various works from the collection that have never been shown before: One consequence of the COVID-19 crisis is that people are once again reflecting more fundamentally on which values are worth preserving for society and its imminent upheaval. The focus is not so much on material values but rather on future attitudes towards life and its different manifestations. Art makes important contributions to dealing with these questions as it has always focused on the conditions of human life and its different forms.

The aim of this show is to encourage such discussions in different ways by assembling works which deal with human beings, their abilities and conceptions of the world, but also their search for the reasons for their existence and their embeddedness in natural history. This also, however, entails examining the material and societal realities which define our everyday lives so extensively.

A production of Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, curated by Friedemann Malsch.

Artists in the exhibition:

ABSALON, Saâdane Afif, Yuri Albert, Pawel Althamer, Giovanni Anselmo, Maria Anwander, Arman, Thom Barth, Denise Bellon, Joseph Beuys, Alighiero Boetti, Christian Boltanski, George Brecht, Stanley Brouwn, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Tacita Dean, Marcel Duchamp, Luciano Fabro, Stano Filko, General Idea, Jochen Gerz, Ute Klophaus, Julije Knifer, Willem de Kooning, Jannis Kounellis, KwieKulik, Bertrand Lavier, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Thomas Lehnerer, Mangelos, Fabian Marcaccio, Gordon Matta-Clark, Allan McCollum, Thom Merrick, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Matt Mullican, Paul Neagu, Marcel Odenbach, Brian O’Doherty, Trevor Paglen, Giulio Paolini, Steven Parrino, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Dan Perjovschi, Dan Peterman, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Emilio Prini, David Reed, RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co), Pipilotti Rist, Pamela Rosenkranz, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier, André Thomkins, Jean Tinguely, Rosemarie Trockel, Josip Vaništa, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Gilberto Zorio

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