ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012

Boundary Matters. The Concept of Art in Modernity

As the exhibition Inklusion/Exklusion curated by Peter Weibel addressed in 1996 (steirischer herbst, Graz), Global art production raises the question as to the course of the new boundaries of a concept of art, which, in modernity, erected a wall around the Western art scene. This prehistory also offers a very tangible explanation to the exclusion of the outsiders who could not demonstrate a “hereditary right” to be recognized as artists. Because many artists living in the diaspora have anyway been trained in the West, the course taken by the boundary also shifted between institutionally protected art and traditional, or folk art practices, that had previously been left out. Several works in this section expose art history as a fiction, which is tied to a specific audience whereas, with a different public, it might as well amount to nothing. In his work Omission (2009), Liu Ding similarly integrates his own art scene into his ironic analysis of dubious historical constructs. In the works of Zander Blom, reproductions from art books serve as models for arbitrary three-dimensional reproductions documented in photographs, since this was the only way he could approach European art history. Nusra Latif Qureshi’s morphing of faces in her work Did you come here to find history (2009) casts doubt on whether it is possible to find one’s identity in the medium of cultural representation and by means of art. This section is thus an encounter of very different border crossers seeking an art beyond any shared concept of art.