26 September 2008 – 18 January 2009
KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR
Matt Mullican, From the Series Stick Figures, 1974
The exhibition for spirit and matter, body and consciousness
How does liveliness arise?
How do we grasp reality today?
How do we distinguish between the “I” and the world?
In the 19th century, the image the natural sciences had of the world was defined by materialism, according to which everything consisted of substance, or mass-based material. In this view, man was a selfcontained entity, an autonomous self who by means of his intellect looked out on the world as something external, something separated from him. The insights gained by the natural sciences, not to mention neurobiology and psychology, since the beginning of the 20th century, have given rise to a completely new view of the world. Materialism and the world of objectifications have been replaced by oscillating quanta, by an immaterial view of the world as inseparable from us. Matter is essentially no longer matter.
The dual experience of world, of subject and object, intellect and matter, whose characteristics were also influenced by ‘separating’ matter, is being cast into question. According to Joseph Beuys the key contribution that materialism as still prevails today made as to move from the collective to the freedom of the individual. However, the danger is in isolating the individual person from the positive antipode, the social community that has still to be created.
The exhibition “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” explores contemporary artistic representations of body/soul, body/mind, matter/consciousness. It shows how, since the 1960s, artists have intensely focused on corporeality, on the border between the “I” and the world, between the individual and the social, and have investigated how our realities are structured. On show are works by Marina Abramovic/Ulay, Absalon, Samuel Beckett, Joseph Beuys, Andrea Fraser, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Dan Graham, Kimsooja, Korpys/Löffler, Thomas Lehnerer, Matt Mullican, Bruce Nauman, Gabriel Orozco, Kristine Oßwald, and Gina Pane.
The exhibition has been organized by the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, curated by Christiane Meyer-Stoll.
Marina Abramovic/Ulay, Breathing In - Breathin Out (Belgrade), 1978
Kimsooja, A Needle Woman, Kitakyushu, 1999
Exhibition view, Johanniterkirche Feldkirch, 2008