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Richard Prince

Miroir Miroir (group show)
MUDAC - Musée de Design et d'Art Appliqués Contemporains, Lausanne
31 May - 1 October 2017

The idea that we live in the age of the image has been so thoroughly drilled into us, that all discourse now defines our era in these terms. Paradoxically, it has never been more difficult for each of us to read, analyse and interpret them. The speed with which images are broadcast, especially with new technologies, seems to be inversely proportional to our capacity to understand them in all their complexity.

The one object that has been inextricably linked to the idea of image across all ages and art forms, from art to literature, new media to design, must surely be the mirror. As well as its reflective function, it is has also been imbued with strong symbolic connotations. The mirror is thus associated with an array of myths across many cultures.

The exhibition Mirror Mirror takes the form of a series of chapters and aims to bridge the microscopic gap separating our image from our being. Our reflection is utterly specific, making it undoubtedly the most complex of all images. In it, recognition and illusion are confused, giving rise to an inner disorder linked to our constant desire to read our identity here.

Each chapter tackles a specific theme relating to the mirror or reflections, and presents an array of design objects, complemented by others from the worlds of contemporary art and photography. Artists, whether famous or emerging, offer their take on the idea which, on the frozen surface of the window, now defines our being in the world.

MUDAC - Musée de Design et d'Art Appliqués Contemporains, Lausanne


Additional:

Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, Christopher Wool

Artists' Books: The Collection (group show)
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
1 December 2017 - 2 April 2018

Artists’ books tell stories or take the form of manifestos, archives or political proclamations. Programmatic, narrative, playful, or even appalling, they break with traditional book design to open new creative spaces. Discovered by conceptual artists and the Fluxus movement as an open and versatile medium, the artists’ book has carved out a space for itself since the 1960s as an independent art genre.

In the exhibition Artists’ Books: The Collection, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is for the first time presenting a selection of the best-known publications from its collection of some 1,700 exemplars. The collection got off to its start with minimal and conceptual works in which artists including Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner put their serial and conceptual ideas between the covers of a book in the 1960s and 70s. The Fluxus movement then transcended the usual book format as artists integrated a variety of other media such as music, poetry, actions and happenings as well as spontaneous improvisations. Like the score for a piece of music, the book plays a significant role here as mediator. Artists also began to draw on ordinary everyday materials and methods such as stamps, cut-outs, photocopies, collages and mechanical printing to craft their artworks in book form. The book became a favourite experimental field for trying out new concepts. At the same time, books undermined the hierarchy of the art market, as they are affordable for everyone. The artist’s book therefore stands like hardly any other artistic medium for the democratisation of art.

In addition to the freedom from commercial pressure, the notion of the book as an 'alternative space' has attracted young artists in particular to this medium in recent years. Many are founding their own publishing houses, producing books in small editions and experimenting with new formats. Artists’ record albums as acoustic medium are also enjoying a renaissance.

Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg


Richard Prince

Proof of Life (group show)
Weserburg I Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen
20 May 2017 - 25 February 2018

The construction of the Tower of Babel as a massacre. The artist as a dead revolutionary. A stained-glass window made from butterfly wings. Proof of Life brings together 100 paintings, sculptures and photographic works that investigate existential questions in a both palpable and profound manner. Their aesthetic impact inevitably draws the viewer into its spell. What these works bring to view is linked to a tradition of influential pictures, some of which go far back in time. The presented works simultaneously quote, seduce, irritate, provoke and thematize concepts of moral values. This includes a summons not only to situate in historical terms what is being seen, but also to relate it quite concretely to the present. The works come from a private collection that has never before been publicly presented in this form.

Proof of Life raises the question as to whether and why such images anchored in our memory are still relevant today. The exhibition shows how striking pictorial models are updated in a surprising manner and transformed into new visual inventions. The artistic results are simultaneously fascinating and shocking; the aesthetic experiences they make possible are complex and revelatory. They become documents and symbols of our present era and thus vital signs of contemporary culture.
“The exhibition derives its strength from the impact of the pictures, which in no way excludes deeper insights but instead fosters them. The works don’t immobilize us in wordless veneration but cause astonishment, questioning and doubt which we relate directly to the present. Fundamental questions raised by this exhibition are how art possesses this capability and why certain age-old motifs don’t become petrified manifestations in a museum but instead remain extremely lively.” Peter Friese, Director of the Weserburg

Weserburg I Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen