November 12, 2018 - Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst - Annual program 2019
November 12, 2018

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

Mary Maggic, Housewives Making Drugs (still), 2017. Video. Courtesy the artist.

Annual program 2019

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zürich

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Producing Futures—An Exhibition on Post-Cyber-Feminisms
February 16–May 12, 2019
Opening: Friday, February 15, 2019

In the group show Producing Futures—An Exhibition on Post-Cyber-Feminisms, the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst surveys the causes championed by feminists in the post-internet era. Our virtual and real lives are almost inextricably interwoven today. Yet contrary to the heady proclamations of the cyberfeminists of the 1990s, cyberspace has not evolved into a realm of unclouded liberation and self-empowerment; it has also served to reinforce existing hierarchies and power structures. Opening with a new work by the artists’ collective VNS Matrix, which coined the term cyberfeminism, the presentation revisits the movement’s historic aspirations and visions, contrasts them with the contemporary situation, and inquires into ways in which its ideas may still be productive. The exhibition undertakes a critical engagement with different feminist approaches that put the spotlight on the tension between body and technology and on discriminatory gender norms. The contributing artists reflect on and defamiliarize the offerings of various online platforms in order to further blur the boundaries between virtual and real, online and offline, and the genders. Many of the works pursue a holistic view, drawing on (medical) science, the occult, and other fields to stimulate a more comprehensive discussion and generate ideas for a livable future of emancipation, gender justice, and social equality.

Curated by Heike Munder (director, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst), the exhibition will include works by Cao Fei, Cécile B. Evans, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Juliana Huxtable, Guan Xiao, Mary Maggic, Shana Moulton, Tabita Rezaire, Gavin Rayna Russom, Frances Stark, Wu Tsang, Anna Uddenberg, VNS Matrix, and Anicka Yi. An accompanying publication with essays by Joanna Walsh, Yvonne Volkart, Paul B. Preciado, Heike Munder, and Elsa Himmer will be released in the spring of 2019.

Stephen Willats: Languages of Dissent
May 25–August 18, 2019
Opening: Friday, May 24, 2019

The Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst devotes a comprehensive exhibition to the oeuvre of the British conceptual artist Stephen Willats (b. London, 1943). Scrutinizing the built environment, with a particular focus on council housing projects, he questions social norms and uniformities that the individual is compelled to conform to. Instants of refusal to comply with this regulated environment are of special interest to Willats: they are when individuality and the self suddenly come into view. Disciplines like behavioral science, sociology, and systems theory provide the methodological access that lets him investigate such forms of dissent. The presentation is organized around two thematic emphases that will guide the visitors’ exploration of Willats’s output since the 1960s. One is his study of cybernetics, the regulation and control of dynamic systems, which lets him frame structures of communication and relationships in society, but also enables him to influence the fabric of actual social realities, serving him as both method, aesthetic vocabulary, and formal model. The other is his specific interest in subcultures where nonconformism and self-determination manifest themselves. What began as a fascination with the London punk scene grew into wide-ranging observations of the city’s experimental and polysexual underground clubs as well as efforts to recapture disused urban land in Berlin for community uses.

Curated by Heike Munder (director, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst), the exhibition will be one of the artist’s largest institutional solo shows to date. The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue published with essays by Bronac Ferran, John Kelsey, Andrew Wilson and Heike Munder, among others.

Stephen Willats lives and works in London. His work has been presented at numerous institutions over the decades, with recent exhibitions during the 12th Shanghai Biennale (2018) and at the ZKM, Karlsruhe (2017), the Tate Britain, London (2016), the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2014), and the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2010).

United by AIDS—An Exhibition about Loss, Remembrance, Activism and Art in Response to HIV/AIDS
August 31–November 10, 2019
Opening: Friday, August 30, 2019

The extensive group show United by AIDS—An Exhibition about Loss, Remembrance, Activism and Art in Response to HIV/AIDS sheds light on the multifaceted and complex interrelation between art and HIV/AIDS from the 1980s to the present, examining the blurred boundaries between art production and HIV/AIDS activism and showcasing artists who played and still play a leading role in this discourse. On display are positions that illustrate the diversity of perspectives on life with the HI virus and AIDS, with a particular focus on works that address issues such as isolation, transformation, the inexorable passing of time and mortality in relation to the politics of the body and representation. Since the introduction of highly effective antiretroviral therapies in the second half of the 1990s, “AIDS” has come to be widely seen as a phenomenon of the past, with little significance for the life of our societies today. On the global scale, however, deaths due to complications from AIDS still number almost 1 million per year. The exhibition seeks to untangle the complex and diverse narratives around HIV/AIDS and discuss their fragility in a contemporary perspective. One key section will be devoted to activist art pioneered in the New York scene of the 1980s and 1990s. The AIDS crisis not only prompted the rise of grassroots political activist movements such as ACT UP, it also energized and politicized the art world.

Featuring works by over 30 artists, the exhibition will be curated by Dr. Raphael Gygax (curator, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst). An accompanying anthology will be released. With works by Absalon, Charles Atlas, Lyle Ashton Harris, Marc Bauer, Judith Bernstein, Nayland Blake, Andrea Bowers, fierce pussy, Rafael França, Keith Haring, General Idea, Gran Fury, Group Material, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Anna Halprin, Hudinilson Jr., Jochen Klein, Peter Kunz Opfersei, Stéphan Landry, Zoe Leonard, Carlos Motta, Cookie Mueller & Vittorio Scarpati, Real Madrid, Prem Sahib, Ellen Spiro & Cheryl Dunye, Rosa von Praunheim, Paul Thek, Edward Thomasson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sue Williamson, David Wojnarowicz, Martin Wong, and others.

Lily van der Stokker
November 30, 2019–February 23, 2020
Opening: Friday, November 29, 2019

Lily van der Stokker (b. Den Bosch, Netherlands, 1954) rose to renown in the early 1990s with playful wall paintings in bright colors. Floral motifs and ornamental clouds are dominant motifs in works whose aesthetic and fluorescent palette bring pop art to mind. Integrated text fragments or affirmative messages such as “Friendly Good,” “Wonderful,” or “Hoi” often directly address the viewer. Technically simple yet meticulously executed in a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, the murals are based on small-format drawings the artist prepares with scrupulous precision. Comedy, satire, and irony are hallmarks of van der Stokker’s oeuvre. Recurrent concerns in her art revolve around the stereotype of “femininity,” ostensible banalities, but also the economics of art and everyday life or the artist’s existence. In this sense, her work also reads as a challenge to a conventional bourgeois conception of art. Picking up on the mundane and ordinary as fuel for her production of affects, it gestures toward a larger sociopolitical context. From the outset of her career, Lily van der Stokker has regularly presented her work in Switzerland, and in Zurich in particular, with exhibitions at Shedhalle, Zurich (1990), at the Kunsthaus Zürich (1995), and, most recently, at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2015). The new exhibition will offer Swiss audiences an unprecedented opportunity to explore van der Stokker’s oeuvre in depth.

The exhibition will be curated by Dr. Raphael Gygax (curator, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst). An accompanying comprehensive publication produced in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and Roma Publications has been released.

Lily van der Stokker lives and works in Amsterdam and New York. Selected solo exhibitions: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2018), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015), New Museum, New York (2013), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010), Tate St. Ives (2010).

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
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