An adventure in conceptual art celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Generali Foundation

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, June 25, 2024

An adventure in conceptual art celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Generali Foundation
Hans Haacke, And You Were Victorious After All, 1988 © Generali Foundation. Photo:
Werner Kaligofsky.

VIENNA.- To mark the 25th anniversary of the Generali Foundation, three international curators—Guillaume Désanges, Helmut Draxler, and Gertrud Sandqvist—will each organize a show using a unique presentation format to shed light from individual angles on the Generali Foundation’s collection, its institutional and exhibition policies, and hence its contribution to historiography on the basis of institutional work. Additional discussions and lectures taking place throughout this anniversary year will take their cue from the curators’ different personal approaches, the questions they raise concerning the definition of what is called Concept (or Conceptual) art and what it means to collect and curate it, and their reflections on the relationship between Conceptual and historical display strategies and the artworks themselves. The first show is by French curator and critic Guillaume Désanges.

I think art is the only political power, the only revolutionary power, the only evolutionary power, the only power to free humankind from all repression. I say not that art has already realized this, on the contrary; and because it has not, it has to be developed as a weapon – first there are radical levels, then you can speak about special details. --Joseph Beuys, in Avalanche Newspaper, May/June 1974

One of the limitations of history as a discipline is that the material persistence of the documents blinds it to the exigency of their resurrection. --Jalal Toufic, The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster, 2009

The emergence of Conceptual art in the late 1960s was a unique intellectual and aesthetic adventure that drew on the most refreshing sources of the 20th century—a revolution of forms and of intelligence that won the semantic and ideological battle in spite of its alleged shortcomings and failings, quietly imposing a new politics of seeing. This elementary force, as subliminal as it was powerful, made a lasting impact on relations between time and space, mind and body, art and life, function and contingency.

Invited to devise an exhibition on the Generali Foundation collection, a collection based on Conceptual art that examines what is at stake in this movement, instead of adding yet another theoretical layer I wanted to take an approach based on love and admiration. I wanted to go directly to the core of the matter, in a spirit of sharing and celebrating rather than trying a renewal of critical perspectives. In an urgent, desiring, and nonhierarchical way, unfolding the movement’s theoretical, aesthetic, political, and poetic aspects. Approaching from a position of overdrive and saturation, using a strategy less selective than elective—in all of Conceptual art’s various but not conflicting senses. Creating a cognitive and sensory epic, in a mode more narrative than discursive, taking as my model mass-audience exhibitions in a historical, scientific, or educational vein—a mix of wonder and knowledge, science and exoticism, didacticism and propaganda.

For a curator, each exhibition may be a new situation, a way to challenge the obvious and find a form that syncopates the rhythm with its topic. In this case, it was about answering the question of what it might mean to curate “conceptually.” This could involve working in the register of “deskilling,” a concept that has existed since modernism and that saw a resurgence in the context of Conceptual Art, opposing academic discipline with a certain kind of amateurism. Deskilled curating means avoiding reflexes and the temptations of virtuosity, with the goal of reconnecting with the spirit of freedom, and risk-taking that animated the pioneers of Conceptual art. This curatorial reterritorialization is implemented here in an openly transitive exhibition, in the utopian hope of addressing a broad audience, bypassing the filter of professional art-world codes. The objective is to offer an experience via a scenography based on density and generosity, in a desperate attempt to bring order into the chaos of concepts and approaches. From “expanded intelligence” to the “extraordinariness of the everyday,” from the “spatiotemporal revolution” to the “beauty of the layout,” works from the collection are repositioned playfully but precisely within a network of references, paratexts, images, slogans, objects, artifacts, and commentaries that are more or less spontaneous, more or less accurate, more or less objective, without making any concessions in terms of demandingness or complexity. An updated celebration in exhibition mode, bearing in mind that this incredible adventure is based on a true story. (Guillaume Désanges)

With works by Robert Barry, Gottfried Bechtold, Marcel Broodthaers, Ernst Caramelle, Lili Dujourie, VALIE EXPORT, Andrea Fraser, Bruno Gironcoli, Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Sanja Iveković, Jarosław Kozłowski, Richard Kriesche, Friedl Kubelka, Dóra Maurer, Gordon Matta-Clark, Dennis Oppenheim, Ewa Partum, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Gerhard Rühm, Allan Sekula, Goran Trbuljak, Ian Wallace, Peter Weibel, Franz West, and others.

Today's News

January 17, 2013

Archaeologists find 1000-year-old skeletons twenty kilometers away from Chichen Itza

Brice Marden's Red, Yellow, Blue paintings shown together for the first time at Gagosian

One hundred years of Israel's archaeological archive has been scanned and is now online

Photograph of 19th-century African American sculptor Edmonia Lewis discovered by Walters Art Museum

Bonhams sale in Paris celebrates the styles that helped to shape Modernism, Art Deco and Art Nouveau

Man accused in Pablo Picasso vandalism at Menil Collection to remain jailed due to flight risk

Four United States institutions partner on South Korea's first major American art survey

An adventure in conceptual art celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Generali Foundation

Sir Stanley Spencer painting bought from the Royal Academy in 1950 for sale at Bonhams

Death Disco, an exhibition of new works by Dave Muller opens at The Approach in London

Edgar Degas artwork, luxe jewelry headline Quinn & Farmer's January 19 auction

American artist Aleah Chapin's first solo show opens at Flowers Gallery in New York

First solo exhibition at Stephan Stoyanov Gallery by Zagreb-based artist Renata Poljak opens

Turkish painter Burhan Dogancay dead at 83

First museum retrospective for Lois Dodd on view this winter at the Portland Museum of Art

Latvian artist Vladimir Dukholnikov exhibits at Erarta Galleries London

Haggerty Museum of Art spring 2013 exhibitions now open

Interactive, performative installation combining art, music, and dance by Tony Feher opens at DiverseWorks

The Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival presents a solo exhibition by Guillaume Simoneau

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful