With Georg Faulhaber, Karl Gerstner, Julio Le Parc, Zilla Leutenegger, Roy Lichtenstein, Gustav Metzger, Oscar Muñoz, Nam June Paik, Sergio Prego, René Pulfer, Pipilotti Rist, Teresa Serrano, Keith Sonnier, and Nevet Yitzhak
This exhibition seems to come at just the right time. After over a year of the pandemic, and the reopening of museums and exhibition halls having just recently become possible, it provides a space for amplifying current experiences; for new readings of what has been happening and for what has become newly readable. This group show seeks to trace the development of the medium of video and expansive, immersive installations using representative examples. It also demonstrates how within one year there has been a transformation in our understanding of key (interpersonal) moments such as communication, digital (world) connectedness, intimacy and distance, corporeal experience, and places of longing have shifted as we look out onto the world from the confines...of our own four walls. The works, even those created some time ago, may even be more comprehensible for us today. Without the experiences of recent months, we may have needed a few more emotional attempts; we may, for historic, geographic, and political reasons, have viewed them in a more distanced way. In our present moment, we all know what it means to be within our own four walls, feeling cut off from the world. Afterlight. Afterglow is a large group exhibition with works by 14 artists from Switzerland and abroad, jointly curated by Käthe Walser and Ines Goldbach.
For the selection, it was important to achieve a representative overview of contemporary video installations and their precursors since the late 1950s—through, for instance, proponents of (light) kinetics and initial experiments with TV monitors—as well as show international artists alongside Swiss ones, present various generations, and at the same time to give the individual works enough space for them to be experienced physically.
But how can the development of video installation be traced in just a few strokes? The 1960s was an era of rupture and upheaval, leading to social changes, youth protests, anti-war movements, generational conflicts, and scientific and technological progress. The enormous developments in art and culture did not happen in insolation: they fundamentally and sustainably fuelled those moments. The great innovation of trying to bring art closer to life—to include the viewer spatially, without pedestal and without distance, to use new technologies and materials, and to integrate everyday themes—has a lasting influence to this day.
Several years from now, it may be possible and necessary to speak of our present day in the same way: a time when the pandemic instigated severe demographic, economic, social, medical, and even cultural upheavals, but despite the negative impacts also kindled new ideas and new forms.
Entrada actualizada el el 15 abr de 2021
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