02 October 2009 – 17 January 2010

MODERNISM AS A RUIN. An Archaeology of the Present

Exhibition view, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, 2009
The key project of modernism as of the early 20th century was the achievement of a society that would be more humane and contemporary. New residential forms were to be created and cities were to be totally different in appearance. What became of that utopia?

The exhibition extends an invitation to explore the theme of a better society in terms of its sustainability both at the technical-practical and the intellectual-artistic level. In the early 1970s, the American artists Robert Smithson and Gordon Matta-Clark were already addressing themes such as the impact of capitalism on the structure not only of the city, but of society in general. They dealt mainly with complex ecological and social contiguities within the context of the phenomenal development of architecture in large American cities which, after the boom of the 1960s, in many cases declined into dilapidated sites of an anti-utopia, residential-estate ghettos and problem-ridden suburbs.

The term “entropy” borrowed from the natural sciences and used by Robert Smithson in the sense of irreversible change, disaggregation, is a major reference point in many of the works on show. While presenting processes both of construction and destruction, they also preserve aspects of crystalline texture, structure.

The architect and visionary Yona Friedman, for example, points to the precarious state of modern society, the exploitation of sources of raw materials; his Ville spatiale is a model city made out of waste materials. Rob Voerman on the other hand creates hybrid buildings which are a cross between a cave, a machine and a holy place, as if envisioning the world after the apocalypse. In their film Bantar Gebang, Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij show yet another aspect of the impact of capitalism in modernism: an idyllic sunrise reveals a settlement built on a rubbish heap, a dilapidated slum.


Many of these works denote that the available resources are finite, and that we should reconsider our definition of the new, of progress.

The exhibition includes works by Yona Friedman, Giuseppe Gabellone, Cyprien Gaillard, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, Gordon Matta-Clark, Florian Pumhösl, Jeroen de Rijke/Willem de Rooij, Robert Smithson, Rob Voerman and Stephen Willats. It is produced by the Generali Foundation, Vienna, curated by Sabine Folie.

de_rooij_150_100.jpg
Jeron de Rijke / Willem de Rooij, Bantar Gebang, Bekasi, West Java, May 2000
matta-clark_conical1_150_100.jpg
Gordon Matta Clark, Conical Intersect, 1975
Ausstellungsansicht Smithson - Gabellone_150x100.jpg
Exhibition view, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, 2009
Generali Foundation, Vienna
Opening
 Thursday, 1 October 2009, 18 h  
Guided tour
 Thursday, 8 October 2009, 18 h with Christiane Meyer-Stoll, curator 
 Thursday, 22 October 2009, 18 h with Thomas Soraperra 
 Thursday, 3 December 2009, 18 h with Denise Rigaud 
 Thursday, 7 January 2010, 18 h with Thomas Soraperra 
Supporting events:
 Sunday, 11 October 2009, 11 h   In cooperation with the Art Society

Die Moderne in Liechtenstein. Ein architekturhistorischer Spaziergang

a walk through Vaduz with Hansjörg Hilti, Head of the Institute for Architecture and Planning, at the University of Liechtenstein, and Florin Frick, architect, Schaan

 Tuesday, 20 October 2009, 17 – 19 h   Schools and Museum

Introduction for teachers

with Christina Jacoby

 Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 15 – 17 h   Schools and Museum

Introduction for teachers

with Christina Jacoby

 Thursday, 29 October 2009, 12:30 – 13 h   Take Away

Modernism as a Ruin. An Archaeology of the Present

short guided tour during the lunch break

 Sunday, 15 November 2009, 14 – 16 h   Families

Family Sunday

for children aged between 5 and 10 years and their (grand)parents

 Thursday, 19 November 2009, 18 h   In cooperation with the "Vorarlberger Architekturinstitut"

Die Architektur der Abwesenheit. Über die Kunst, eine Ruine zu bauen

Speech by Kai Vöckler, freelance city researcher and publicist

 Thursday, 26 November 2009, 12:30 – 13 h   Take Away

Modernism as a Ruin. An Archaeology of the Present

short guided tour during the lunch break

 Thursday, 10 December 2009, 18 h   Presentation and Discussion

The Demolition of Pruitt-Igoe

with Sabine Horlitz, architect, Berlin, and Christiane Meyer-Stoll, curator at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

 Thursday, 14 January 2010, 18 h   In cooperation with the Art Society

Die Architektur öffnen: Gordon Matta-Clark

Presentation by Philip Ursprung, professor of modern and contemporary art at the University of Zurich

 Sunday, 17 January 2010, 14 – 16 h   Families

Family Sunday

for children aged between 5 and 10 years and their (grand)parents