Freitag, 13. Dezember 2013

Conceptual art is a bunk... It’s a felt, it’s feeling, it’s felt (Robert Smithson)

Symposium: Conceptual art is a bunk...It’s a felt, it’s feeling, it’s felt (Robert Smithson), 2013. Photo: Dario Punales

December 12, 2013, 5–8 p.m. (English)

The symposium takes up themes and motifs in Gertrud Sandqvist’s exhibition Against Method—the curator chose the title as a reference to Paul Feyerabend’s widely read book Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge (1975), in which he turns against the rationalist methodology of a theory of science aiming for universal validity and casts doubt on the scientific ambition to attain knowledge through the application of exact and systematic methods. He instead proposes “irrational means” as the basis for experimental research. Scientists, he argues, should adapt approaches from the arts. Feyerabend’s critique came during the heyday of Conceptual art, when artists, for their part, sought to integrate structuralism and scientific methodology into their work. The various contributions to the symposium address the interrelations between structuralism and Conceptual art and elaborate on the question: to which extent did the appropriation of structuralist theories bring Conceptual art to the limits of its attempts at rationalization?
Eve Meltzer’s lecture investigates the reintegration of the human subject into conceptual works and examines how affect and system condition and complement each other. The artist Joachim Koester, meanwhile, explores the analysis of the non-rational in Sol LeWitt’s writings and minimalist objects. Elisabeth von Samsonow and the artist Ida-Marie Corell collaborate to stage a lecture-performance, a critical dialogue on the question of method and the production of knowledge.

Eve MeltzerSystems We Have Loved
Lecture (English)

Joachim KoesterConceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists
Lecture (English)

Elisabeth von Samsonow with Ida-Marie Corell, ArtistHybrid Knowledge
Lecture-performance (English)

Moderator: Gertrud Sandqvist, Curator

Montag, 2. Dezember 2013

Anniversary's publication

Cover, A Book about Collecting and Exhibiting Conceptual Art after Conceptual Art, 2013. Photo: Dario Punales

A Book about Collecting and Exhibiting Conceptual Art after Conceptual Art
Eds. Sabine Folie, Georgia Holz, Ilse Lafer
With texts by Sabeth Buchmann, Juli Carson, Guillaume Désanges, Helmut Draxler, Sabine Folie, Christian Höller, Eve Meltzer, Gertrud Sandqvist, Luke Skrebowski, Ian Wallace, Camiel van Winkel, and a conversation between Hal Foster und Helmut Draxler
Germ./Engl., 540 p., 430 color- and b&w-ill., hardcover
Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne


Mittwoch, 27. November 2013

Curator Gertrud Sandqvist on her current exhibition at Generali Foundation "Against Method"

Georgia Holz: This year’s guest curators—Guillaume Désanges, Helmut Draxler, and now you—have chosen very diverse approaches in presenting the collection. While Guillaume brought together a rather didactic and as he called it popular exhibition for which he selected many “pioneers” of Conceptual art, Helmut reflected on the interaction of collecting and exhibition making at the Generali Foundation. Your approach again is a different one, how would you describe it?

Gertrud Sandqvist: A collection could be there mainly for study purposes, but as soon as one exhibits it, it also creates an art experience, and it is this experience I would like to focus on. When it comes to Conceptual art, this focus is not at all self-evident on the contrary many of the experiments and thoughts about Conceptual art have questioned what this “experience” consists of. But if one looks closer into many of the works in the Generali Foundation Collection, they point at or call for precisely the experience, which means that there is a difference between seeing them in reality and reading about them or to "get the idea". If this difference exists, I mean that one could talk about an art experience also when it comes to Conceptual art, which means that there is integrity in the artwork which goes beyond its concept.

Georgia Holz: You said, what interests you most in the Generali Foundation Collection is its ambiguities, fissures as you call them. While the collection as a whole is striving for identity as a coherent Conceptual art collection, it is the autonomy of artworks themselves that is able to break with this reading. You use the phrase "to spill over" for describing this autonomy. Could you further explain what this "spilling over" of the art works means?

Gertrud Sandqvist: I believe Marcel Duchamp had a point when he was writing about the “art co-efficient,” which according to him is there in all art. The art co-efficient means that there is something in the artwork that the artist didn't intend, and it is precisely the unintended, which transforms a work into art. This is of course exactly what the conceptual artists denied or at least tried to avoid. But as soon as one materializes an idea something happens, which cannot be completely controlled—not to say what happens when this artwork meets the spectator. This is becoming even more obvious when you find such a fine and coherent collection as the one in the Generali Foundation. A collection is a result of choices, of decisions, in the end of interpretations. It means that one, from the extremely rich “intensity field,” which is an artwork, decides on one (or two or more) parameters which make it possible to include the work in, for instance a collection of Conceptual art. But even here there are aspects of the artwork which act diversely. This is a great strength, I think, which makes it possible for the artwork to expand over the moment in time and context when it ws conceived.

Georgia Holz is Assistant-Curator at Generali Foundation.

Donnerstag, 21. November 2013

Lili Dujourie, artist, in conversation with Gertrud Sandqvist, curator

November 20, 2013, 7 p.m. (English)

In her early video pieces from the 1970s and 1980s, the Belgian artist Lili Dujourie radically and rigorously explored the still-young medium. Video technology not only enabled her to document her actions in real time, it also allowed her to stage intimacy. Hommage à … I–V, a series of five videos, revolves around a dual regime of the gaze between theatrical pose and voyeuristic control. The artist presents her own body in a play between exposure, concealment, and the camera as a proxy for the viewer, an embodiment of the “pure” gaze. She showcases the entire register of female exhibitionism and reenacts the poses of art history’s nudes. Yet Dujourie is not a passive exponent of a desiring gaze but a self-determined agent creating an alternative narrative of the female body. The subject-object dichotomy gives way to a subject-subject relationship.

Held as part of Vienna Art Week.

Mittwoch, 20. November 2013

Mary Kelly, artist, in conversation with Gertrud Sandqvist, curator

November 19, 2013, 7 p.m. (English)

If there is a work of art that has comprehensively grasped, visualized, and contextualized the complexities of sensory and bodily experience in relation to a system, or more precisely, a structuralist matrix, it is Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document (1974–79). In this pioneering work, the artist addressed a topic that had been taboo—the subjective and physical experience of birth and motherhood—and lent it form by translating it into the systematic structure of a decidedly conceptualist aesthetic. Post-Partum Document was unsparingly analytical and revealed the conventions and stereotypes at work in feminism as well as Conceptual art. Kelly transcended the artistic and conceptual agenda of by resorting to methods from both psychoanalysis (Lacan) and the sciences. With its critical and yet affirmative stance toward Conceptual art, Post-Partum Document I. Prototype manifests the same “cracks,” contradictions, and paradoxes within Conceptual art that Gertrud Sandqvist traces in the exhibition Against Method.

Held as part of Vienna Art Week

Montag, 14. Oktober 2013

Book launch: A Book about Collecting and Exhibiting Conceptual Art after Conceptual Art

Book launch, 2013 © Generali Foundation. Photos: Dario Punales

Friday, October 11, 2013, 7 p.m.
Presentation of the anniversary’s publication
Korrektur, performance by Heinrich Dunst
Food will be served by Schorsch Böhme, playlist by Nora Kapfer

Montag, 16. September 2013

Donnerstag, 12. September 2013

Kuratorisches Statement: Against Method

Gertrud Sandqvist. Foto: Steffi Dittrich
Wird eine Sammlung ausgestellt, eröffnet sich der Raum für eine Kunsterfahrung. Und genau auf diese möchte ich mich konzentrieren. In Verbindung mit konzeptueller Kunst ist das keineswegs selbstverständlich, zumal ein Großteil der in der konzeptuellen Kunst unternommenen Experimente und deren Theoretisierung eben diese Erfahrung infrage stellten. Ich habe beschlossen, mich auf Paul Feyerabends berühmten Essay Wider den Methodenzwang (1975) zu beziehen, weil er darin das angeblich systematische Denken der Wissenschaft infrage stellt und stattdessen behauptet, Wissenschaftler_innen würden opportunistisch alles aufgreifen, was funktioniert, wie es seiner Meinung nach auch Künstler_innen tun. Er schrieb den Essay auf dem Höhepunkt der konzeptuellen Kunst, als Künstler_innen umgekehrt die Wissenschaft nach Strukturen und Methoden durchforsteten, welche der Kunst dieselbe Eindeutigkeit verleihen sollten, die sie der Wissenschaft zu schrieben. Aus der Sammlung der Generali Foundation habe ich Werke ausgewählt, die alles das zeigen, was gewöhnlich nicht mit konzeptueller Kunst verbunden wird: Geste, Prozess, Körperlichkeit, Sexualität, optische Qualitäten, Blick. Schlüsselwerke sind Mary Kellys Post-Partum Document (1974) und Ana Torfs’ Elective Affinities (2002). Kelly war eine Pionierin, die Fragen des Prozesses, der Materialität und der Mutter-Kind-Beziehung in die konzeptuelle Kunst einführte. Ana Torfs geht vom chemischen Begriff der „Wahlverwandtschaft“ aus, der die Fähigkeit zweier wohlbekannter Substanzen beschreibt, sich beim Hinzukommen einer dritten zu etwas noch Unbekanntem und Neuem zu verbinden. Genau das passiert für mich auch beim Ausstellung-Machen.

Donnerstag, 27. Juni 2013

Symposium: Der Wert des "Ausstellungswertes"

Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013, 17–20 Uhr (Deutsch)

Walter Benjamin setzt den Ausstellungswert dem Kultwert entgegen, ohne ihn genauer zu bestimmen. Das Symposium versucht an unterschiedlichen Lektüren, diesen Begriff zwischen den Werten der Sammlung und dem Wert des Werks historisch und systematisch zu verorten.

Eva Kernbauer: Conversation Pieces (Vortrag)
Kathrin Busch: Bild – Berührung – Exposition (Vortrag)
Gregor Stemmrich: Ökonomien der Aufmerksamkeit (Vortrag)
Podiumsdiskussion mit allen Teilnehmenden
Moderation: Helmut Draxler

Dienstag, 25. Juni 2013

The Curatorial. A Philosophy of Curating / On Collecting Critical Art Practices

Lecture by Jean-Paul Martinon, The Content of Form, 2013 © Generali Foundation. Photo: Dario Punales

Hal Foster in conversation with Helmut Draxler, The Content of Form, 2013 © Generali Foundation. Photo: Dario Punales

June 22, 2013 5-7 p.m. 

The Curatorial. A Philosophy of Curating
Lecture by Jean-Paul Martinon, philosopher, followed by a conversation with 
Helmut Draxler, art historian

On Collecting Critical Art Practices
Hal Foster, art historian, art critic in conversation with Helmut Draxler

This talk will put forward ten theses on the philosophy of curating. These short theses will not comment on the exhibition, nor put forward other examples or attempts to create a chronology of key exhibitions (thus generating an art history of exhibition practices). Instead, they intend to discuss the differences between ‘curating’ and ‘the curatorial’. If ‘curating’ is a gamut of professional practices for setting up exhibitions, then ‘the curatorial’ explores what takes place on the stage set up, both intentionally and unintentionally, by the curator. Ultimately, the aim of these ten theses is to continue Helmut Draxler’s questioning of the activity of curating as exposed inThe Content of Form.

Additional documentation of events held at the Generali Foundation since the 1990s—lectures, symposia, conversations with the artists, guided tours, and performances—is accessible via two terminals at the Study Center.

Samstag, 18. Mai 2013

The Content of Form. A Reading by Ian Wallace

Ian Wallace, Lecture at Generali Foundation, 2013 © Generali Foundation. Photos: Dario Punales

May 17, 2013, 7 p.m. (English)

In the architecture of the installation, which I will take to be the formal framework of the exhibition as a meaningful statement, I will consider the ambient bodily movements of a spectator in the exhibition space. I will draw attention to the indeterminate (yet guided) flow of the intellectual attention of the spectator (of the image-reader in space) as the completion of intentions of the artist (the initiator) and the collector (or curator) who re-presents these works for contemplation. This spatial movement involves proximity and distance, coming close to the object and drawing away to contemplate the installation as an architectural whole. This “entanglement” of producer, presenter, and spectator comprises the “knot” of signification.

Additional documentations of events held at the Generali Foundation since the 1990s—lectures, symposia, conversations with the artists, guided tours, and performances—is accessible via two terminals at the Study Center.