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Exhibition at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein harks back to modernism
Exhibition view Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein. Photo: Ines Agostinelli © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.

VADUZ.- The artists in this exhibition hark back to modernism – and rediscover it.

They examine the conceptual, programmatic and formal traditions of the early twentieth century that have become established as parameters. They search for traces that help to identify alternative modes of reception, thus opening up avenues for an unexpected positioning in the history of art.

The aspect of inspiration that lies in reappraising the past plays a special role: modernism becomes a reservoir. This also involves leading the artwork out of its meanwhile representative role and connecting it to the original conditions of its creation and its effects on human experience. The attempt to preserve the openness of artworks while continuing their discourse is equally an attempt to artistically assess the avant-gardes and their sometimes conflict-ridden and ambivalent history.

The approaches taken by these artists are self-reflective and conceptual in nature. Research, appropriation, repetition, reenactment, narrative, reportage and archival practices are among the methods used in different, open ways to update the limits of memory and subjectivity of the recent past. Marcel Duchamp’s work is a frequent point of reference.

For example, since 1999 Mai-Thu Perret has been developing an extensive project dealing with a virtual model of a female society for a possible future, based on her fictitious narrative The Crystal Frontier and especially by studying the female protagonists of classic modernism. By contrast, Saâdane Afif, in his work Fountains, examines the history of reception of a key work of modernism, Duchamp’s Fountain from 1917. Mario García-Torres, on the other hand, uses his installation A List of Names of Artists I Like (Or Cubism Seen Under a Specific Light) to focus on a legendary list drawn up by Pablo Picasso for the first Armory Show in 1913.

The Reservoir of Modernism presents works from the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein’s collection by Saâdane Afif, Tacita Dean, Marcel Duchamp, Latifa Echakhch, Mario García-Torres, Dmitry Gutov, Thomas Hirschhorn, David Maljković, Charlotte Moth, Mai-Thu Perret, Pamela Rosenkranz, Bojan Šarčević, Maya Schweizer/Clemens von Wedemeyer and Rosemarie Trockel as well as Walter Benjamin “Mondrian ’63–’96”.

A Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein production curated by Friedemann Malsch and Christiane MeyerStoll.

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