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Arnolfini celebrates 50th anniversary of presenting the very best in contemporary art in all its forms
To mark the landmark occasion of its anniversary, Arnolfini will launch the major exhibition, Museum Show, an exploration of museums created by artists showing a series of highly idiosyncratic, semi-fictional institutions.

BRISTOL.- One of the UK’s leading cultural centres, Arnolfini in Bristol, will mark its 50th anniversary over this weekend, 23 – 24 September 2011, celebrating 50 years of presenting the very best in contemporary art in all its forms: visual, performance, music, cinema, and literature.

Established by three artists, Jeremy and Annabel Rees, and John Orsborn, Arnolfini began life in 1961 as a gallery above a bookshop on Triangle West in Clifton, moving to its current home on Bristol Harbourside in 1975. The name was chosen by Jeremy Rees, after Jan van Eyck’s painting The Arnolfini Portrait, in the National Gallery.

To mark the landmark occasion of its anniversary, Arnolfini will launch the major exhibition, Museum Show, an exploration of museums created by artists showing a series of highly idiosyncratic, semi-fictional institutions. Presented in two parts, it is the first ever exhibition to chart this particular tendency in contemporary art. Museum Show In Part 1 features museums by approximately 35 artists from around the world, everything from Marcel Broodthaers' seminal Musée d'Art Moderne, Départment des Aigles or the absurdity of Bill Burns' Museum of Safety Gear for Small Animals, through to Tom Marioni's Museum of Conceptual Art - a functioning bar and an early example of 'convivial' artwork in the US, or the utopia of Museo Aero Solar - a floating museum made of thousands of recycled carrier bags.

"Arnolfini is one of a handful of the most significant contemporary cultural centres in Europe." Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate

Over the weekend there will be music from Anika, Factory Floor and Hassan Khan and a firework based text from artist Cerith Wyn Evans on pontoons in the harbour outside Arnolfini. Chosen for the anniversary it quotes Marcel Duchamp, whose work The Portable Museum from 1943 is the earliest exhibit in Museum Show Part 1. There will also be a performance lecture by influential artist Stuart Brisley and a tour by artist Neil Cummings of his exhibition, Self Portrait: Arnolfini.

Show Part 1:
*Robert Filliou, Galerie Légitime, 1968 Transparent plexiglass hat, small rug (signed with stamp), 4 works by Robert Filliou, 6 works of different artists (Al Hansen, Dieter Roth, Scott Hyde, Dorothy Iannone, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi) Photograph Copyright: Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp

*François Curlet - Intuitive Gallery, 2010 59 x 48 x 41 cm, 117 x 173 cm (poster), 95 x 80 x 90 cm (base) plexiglass hat, 'Brain' by Katharina Fritsch, poster by M/M (Paris) unique, Photograph Copyright: Courtesy Galerie Micheline Szwajcer

*Asunción Molinos WAM, World Agriculture Museum, Feeding the World Photograph copyright: Asunción Molinos Gordo

*Museo Aero Solar, Photograph copyright: Janis Elko

*Marko Lulic - Museum of Revolution, 2010 Installation view 20er Haus, Belvedere, Vienna Steel, paint 1100 x 400 x 300cm Collection Belvedere, Vienna Courtesy Belvedere, Vienna; Gabriele Senn Gallery, Vienna and the artist Photograph Copyright: Marko Lulic

*Duchamp, Marcel From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rose Sélavy (The Box in a Valise), circa 1943 Sculpture, Mixed media H 100 x W 400 x D 440 mm displayed: H 405 x W 1140 x D 9 Photograph Copyright © Tate, London 2011

*Guillaume Bijl "Stemhokkenmuseum", 2000/2008 Collection S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium Photograph Copyright: Dirk Pauwels/S.M.A.K.

*Marcel Broodthaers - Musée de l’art Modern, Department des Aigels "Miroir d' Epoque Regency", 1973 Collection S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium, Photograph Copyright: Dirk Pauwels/S.M.A.K.

*Collection of Ordure, 2002 Museum of Ordure, Photograph copyright: Stuart Brisley

Arnolfini | anniversary |

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