May 26, 2012 - MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST - Erik van Lieshout’s Commission, part of Fotografie Total
May 26, 2012

Erik van Lieshout’s Commission, part of Fotografie Total

Erik van Lieshout, set-up of Commission, 2012.*

Erik van Lieshout’s Commission, part of Fotografie Total
3 June 2012–13 January 2013

MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst
Domstraße 10
60311 Frankfurt am Main

The MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main presents the work Commission by Dutch artist Erik van Lieshout (b. 1968), which he has redeveloped specifically for the museum. The MMK is extremely pleased about the acquisition of the installation, which will be shown as part of the upcoming collection display Fotografie Total: Works from the MMK Collection (3 June 2012–13 January 2013).

The installation revolves primarily around a film set in the Zuidplein shopping mall in South Rotterdam. In 2010, the artist opened a small temporary shop in Zuidplein. Rather than sales merchandise, he offered his customers worn-out articles of everyday use, which he gave them free of charge. The artist used this project as a means of striking up entertaining conversations with other shop owners, shoppers, and neighbourhood residents. The result is now being installed by the artist in a central space in the museum as a documentary-style film work.

Erik van Lieshout has lived and worked in the vicinity of the shopping center for fourteen years, and already made a number of other films there such as Respect, featured in the Dutch Pavilion of the 2003 Venice Biennale. Zuidplein was built in 1968 and, in its early years, embodied a promise of prosperity, freedom, and urban harmony. The district became increasingly impoverished, however, and was eventually associated with a lack of social prospects and on-going violence. While the management of Zuidplein attempted to keep up a positive image, the mall suffered from increasing financial as well as political neglect.

In Commission, van Lieshout captures the juxtaposition of global sales offers and substantial socio-political problems from a humorous perspective. Original works from the consumer and pop culture turn up again and again in collage-like manner, alternating with fragments of conversations between shop owners and shoppers and thus sketching an image of present-day consumer society.

New collection display Fotografie Total
Commission will be presented as part of the exhibition Fotografie Total: Works from the MMK Collection. With this exhibition the MMK presents a sequel to the first presentation of its photography holdings in a show of 2010 entitled The Lucid Evidence. Over a period of seven months, the museum shows new thematic ensembles of its photographic works in changing displays concentrating particularly on important conceptual strategies. Works by Lothar Baumgarten, Anna and Bernhard Blume, and Bernd and Hilla Becher are as much a focus here as video installations by Aernout Mik, Mario Pfeifer, and Erik van Lieshout and photojournalistic works from the MMK Collection. Especially worthy of mention in the last-named category are works by Barbara Klemm, Paul Almasy as well as Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado. The same is true for Anja Niedringhaus, whose new series will be shown for the first time at the MMK.

The presentation changes over the course of the show, permitting the museum to place several hundred works on view in suspenseful and unexpected constellations and thus to unfold an impressive panorama of contemporary photography. The wide spectrum of photographic techniques represented within the MMK Collection includes amongst others vintage prints on baryta-coated paper, Polaroid snapshots, and the monumental light boxes of Jeff Wall.

A party with Erik van Lieshout and Club Robert Johnson will take place on 2 June from 7pm on the occasion of the opening of Fotografie Total: Works from the MMK Collection.

Press contact
Christina Henneke
T +49 69 21237761
Daniela Denninger, Julia Haecker
T +49 69 21235844
F +49 69 21237882
presse.mmk [​at​]

*Image above: 
Erik van Lieshout, set-up of Commission, 2012. Photo: Axel Schneider.

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