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mumok presents Collaborations

July 2–November 6, 2022

Opening: July 1, 6–10pm, with performance by IRWIN, NSK Passport Office

Networks, group initiatives, sharing and commons, swarm intelligence, friend requests, alliance formation, and complicity are all examples of teamwork. The contradictory link between the individual and the collective in our modern society is expressed by all of these forms of interaction, referencing, and seeming reciprocity. Increasing individualization coexists with a yearning for community.

Departing from the focuses of the mumok collections on the avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s as well as conceptual and socio-analytic approaches in contemporary art, the exhibition Collaborations examines diverse strategies of collective authorship. The exhibition creates a link between the smallest and largest unit of togetherness: from the internal connections of the collective to a specific constellation of the connective, from the artist duo to society, and last but not least, from the romantic relationship to the interconnectedness of life. 

The show explores the development of artistic “we” forms for social coexistence. When essential social systems are still disintegrating in the twenty-first century, what does collaboration mean? What is the situation of artists now and how have they reacted to such social and political changes over the years? Building relationships runs the risk of turning into an efficiency and profit-driven metric in the artistic world as well, raising questions about how thin the line is between the critique and acceptance of neoliberal processes. How, if not by embracing the simultaneity of various, sometimes even antagonistic parts, can collectivity in totally varied situations operate as a social and artistic paradigm of thought and action?

A historical perspective on art could help the current conversation about collaborative action—across traditional, social, and national boundaries—in these days of networked connectivity. The Fluxus movement, which began in the 1960s, serves as the central theme of the presentation because it not only fundamentally altered the paradigms of artistic production, distribution, and reception, but also gave rise to a number of tactics that, in a sense, predate algorithms, connective networks, and associated models of communitization.The emphasis is placed specifically on the will and ability of artists to go beyond their personal scope in experimental collaborations with colleagues, to allow for change along with the shift in perspective on their own practice, in addition to the expansion of the typologies of works, image and object traditions, and artistic and participatory methods, which were formative for the neo-avant-garde of the mid-twentieth century.

Collaborations exhibits pieces that primarily act on a meta-reflexive level, highlighting important facets of the mumok collection. These works, which frequently came about through joint methods, all reflect on communal living and working. While the curatorial approach examines artist collectives and the logics and mechanisms that underlie them, it also frames acting as a form of collectivity—a form of acting that recognizes the artistic expressions of both individuals and groups, or other models that are seen as affiliations and alliances of the participants. The utopian potential of collaborations to transcend Western patriarchal power structures and the originality and lone authorship logics of the art industry and consequently inspire social change appears unshakeable.

Artists: Marina Abramović & Ulay, Ant Farm, Art & Language, Martin Beck, Bernadette Corporation, Anna & Bernhard Blume, George Brecht, Günter Brus, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Chto Delat, Leidy Churchman, Clegg & Guttmann, Phil Collins, Bruce Conner, DIE DAMEN, Jean Dupuy, VALIE EXPORT, Peter Faecke and Wolf Vostell, Robert Filliou, Rimma Gerlovina & Valeriy Gerlovin, Gilbert & George, Manfred Grübl, Andreas Gursky, Richard Hamilton and Dieter Roth, Haus-Rucker-Co., Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler, IRWIN, Ray Johnson and Berty Skuber, On Kawara, Friedrich Kiesler, Alison Knowles, Brigitte Kowanz and Franz Graf, Louise Lawler, Lucy R. Lippard, Sharon Lockhart, George Maciunas, Larry Miller, Ree Morton, Otto Muehl, museum in progress, Moriz Nähr, Natalia L.L., Otto Neurath, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Stephen Prina, Jörg Schlick, Hubert Schmalix, Secession, Seth Siegelaub, Christian Skrein, Daniel Spoerri, Petr Štembera and Tom Marioni, Thomas Struth, Timm Ulrichs, VBKÖ, Kerstin von Gabain and Nino Sakandelidze, Franz Erhard Walther, Robert Watts, Franz West, Wiener Gruppe, Oswald Wiener, Heimo Zobernig and others; with the video series lumbung calling from documenta fifteen, curated by ruangrupa.

Curated by Heike Eipeldauer and Franz Thalmair. 

Exhibition design by Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová. 

Discourse and performance program in cooperation with the Austrian Association of Wom*en Artists (VBKÖ). 

mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

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