We are pleased to invite you to
THE ANTI-MUSEUM BOOK
April, Thursday 20
H 7,00 – 9,00 pm
BASEMENT ROMA off
Via Luigi Settembrini 21
“There are prisons for thieves, museums for artists”
“Museums should be invisible. With an imaginary museum you can do whatever you want…”
“We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind…”
F.T. Marinetti, The Manifesto of Futurism
“…Museums are just a lot of lies, and the people who make art their business are mostly impostors.”
Since the early 1960s, artists have seized the radical gesture
of closing a space as a work of art. In these uncompromising pieces, we are confronted with a closed space, and invited to experience its physical, sensory and conceptual realities. Over the course of three months at Kunsthalle Fribourg in Switzerland, in repetition of a seemingly recurrent pattern, “A Retrospective
of Closed Exhibitions” experiments with the retrospective genre, and explores the extreme limits of art, while defying visitors’ expectations and bringing into play questions of aesthetics and politics, among many other things. To envisage “closure” is to confront spaces being sealed. A retrospective offers us the opportunity to experience a work in the present, as an echo of what it once was. Re-enacted today, these historic works highlight changes in context, different effects and different meanings, with regard to their initial iterations.
The temporary closure of an art institution, in a climate of in icted austerity, offers many levels of resonance. To close a gallery in 2016 exempli es the realities of our time. The current context is both one of opulence and one of self-imposed—or imposed—austerity. In the face of a major humanitarian drama on the shores of Europe, in Italy and Greece in particular, the act of closure bears a terrible parallel to the European Union closing its own boundaries.
A retrospective of closures tackles a contemporary moment when politics are disengaging themselves from culture. In early 2016, the ministry of culture in Brazil was temporarily closed and merged with that of education. Many art centres across Europe and the USA are closing, or being threatened of closure. Art schools all over are being closed or threatened of being closed, such as the ones in Sydney, Avignon, Perpignan…. To embrace the act of closure as a work of art embodies a decided gesture that encompasses all of these. The gesture of closing reminds us that a simple act encompasses an in nity of meanings. An action re-envisaged signi es a new action in a different context. These closures may only be temporary, but they problematize and ultimately transform the institution.
Excerpt from A Retrospective of Closed Exhibitions (1964-2016)
Mathieu Copeland, 2016
The anti-museum appears, rst of all, as an image that is brutally perfect: it’s the ultimate position, radical and without comprise. And yet, it is the product of ideals and fantasies that are nothing but romantic projection. We would like to run in this direction, but the ground gives way, crashing in multiple echoes below our feet. The more we approach it, the more the pre-existing image disintegrates into countless fragments— without any coherent or precise expression. Intangible, the anti-museum represents an ideal that exists only in the imagination of the person who is dreaming it. As such, it is the perfect antagonism of the uncompromising conception that one can make of the museum. Taking its imaginary form, the anti-museum in its multiple incarnations and expressions offers a galaxy of positions, counter-positions and counter-counter positions; histories and counter histories; historical precedents and future utopias, of good feelings and brutal gestures. As many visions of anti-museums exist as do those of museums, and as many anti-institutions as do reasons for opposing the institution of art. A series of disparate battles have pushed artists, critics and the public alike to raise the ag of the anti-museum— the protean hero who, it is hoped, will resolve their numerous frustrations. Barely formalised, the concept is constantly taken up and generously cut into a multitude of forms. This text proposes an immersion in the contradictions and paradoxes that exist at the heart of the anti-museum, which is at the point of convergence with those that are not, with those that could be, and those that have been. It will show that the sole actors to show interest in the anti-museum are those who are the most committed to the art system and that the ideal of the anti-museum is attainable only to those who turn away from it completely.
Excerpt from Anti-Museums that Aren’t:
Notes on a few Contradictions
Balthazar Lovay, 2016
THE ANTI-MUSEUM BOOK
Published by Koenig Books, London
Co-published by Fri Art, Kunsthalle Fribourg
KW, Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin