August 16, 2010 - Aargauer Kunsthaus - Yesterday Will Be Better
August 16, 2010

Yesterday Will Be Better

Pierre Bismuth, “Coming Soon (Moving Light),” 2008
Oil on canvas, unique, 138 x 158 cm
Courtesy Bugada & Cargnel (Cosmic Galerie), Paris
Photo: Martin Argyroglo Callas Bey

Yesterday Will Be Better
Taking Memory into the Future

21 August – 7 November 2010

Friday, 20 August 2010, 7 pm

5001 Aarau

Marking this year’s anniversary, the Aargauer Kunsthaus presents Yesterday Will Be Better, a large group exhibition covering a wide range of national and international art practices. The exhibition addresses a fascinating, yet hitherto little-regarded subject: the complex and multi-layered relationship between past and future. Included are works ranging from painting, drawing and sculpture to photography and video by a total of 35 artists who, each in their own way, deal with the question why we remember and what wishes we develop. The opening of the exhibition marks the beginning of the grand Kunsthaus Fest which runs from Friday, August 20, until Sunday, August 22, 2010, inviting everybody to come and celebrate.

The pun leads us from the temporal dimensions of the past and the future straight to how we deal with the present: yesterday, today and tomorrow invariably define reality through interdependency and as a result our view of things, processes and persons is subject to constant change and continuous development. Since our future actions are determined by past experiences, we have to ask ourselves to what extent memories change over time and how flexible memory is as a mnemonic instrument.

With its impossible prognosis Brecht’s punning title Yesterday Will Be Better is, at the same time, representative of our heterogeneous experience of past events. It encourages us to understand our own reality as but one of a plurality of possible perspectives, offering us the option to retroactively reconsider events and to prospectively furnish history with more meaning, making it “better” and shaping it with more of a vision.

The Exhibition
In the exhibition a variety of artistic strategies serve to reflect on the rendition of reality through memories. Different modes of re-narration, re-construction or re-reading play an important role when tracing the arc between past and future. At the same time, relics from times past as well as material or mental fragments of memory provide a counterpoint to desire, anticipation or possible perspectives. With her photographic installation titled Vox Populi Switzerland the artist Fiona Tan created an assemblage of images from Swiss family photo albums for the exhibition; the private photographs represent the personal history as well as the family relationships and friendships that make us what we are today and that will shape future generations. British artist Douglas Gordon shows a monumental wall piece: his List of Names records the names of all relatives, friends and acquaintances that the artist currently recalls. Cyprien Gaillard presents reworked copperplate prints in which 20th century Modernist buildings are inserted into 17th century landscape renderings, thus superimposing a romantic sense of connectedness to nature with an aesthetic and social Utopia.

Yesterday Will Be Better is conceived as an open field for reflection, offering fresh approaches to the previously scantily addressed interface between past and future. The show includes some 50 works by 35 artists of different generations and backgrounds, whose cultural identities are reflected in the exhibits. The works on view are mostly from the past ten years and range from painting, photography, and drawing to sculpture and video art.

Lida Abdul (AF), Yael Bartana (IL), Muriel Baumgartner (CH), Manon Bellet (CH), Pierre Bismuth (F), George Brecht (USA), Hans Danuser (CH), Simon Dybbroe Møller (DK), Angus Fairhurst (UK), Mounir Fatmi (MA), Hans Peter Feldmann (D), Cyprien Gaillard (F), Douglas Gordon (UK), Stefan Gritsch (CH), Andres Lutz / Anders Guggisberg (CH), Mona Hatoum (UK), Alexander Heim (D), Pierre Huyghe (F), Susan Hiller (USA), huber.huber (CH), Jorge Macchi (ARG), Kris Martin (BE), Claudia und Julia Müller (CH), Oskar Muñoz (CO), Deimantas Narkevičius (LTU), Rivane Neuenschwander / Cao Guimarães (BR), Uriel Orlow (CH), Lorna Simpson (USA), Fiona Tan (NL), Adam Thompson (UK), Carey Young (UK)

A comprehensive catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.

For furter information:

Aargauer Kunsthaus

Aargauer Kunsthaus
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