Silberkuppe curates Old Ideas

Silberkuppe curates Old Ideas

Museum für Gegenwartskunst

Shahryar Nashat
Today, 2010
Still from video

January 14, 2010

Old ideas
Phyllida Barlow, Dirk Bell, Gerry Bibby, Janette Laverrière, Shahryar Nashat, Josephine Pryde
January 16 – March 14, 2010

Curated by Silberkuppe

Phyllida Barlow, Dirk Bell, Gerry Bibby, Janette Laverrière, Shahryar Nashat, Josephine Pryde

Opening: January 15, 6:30pm

St.Alban-Rheinweg 60
Ch-4010 Basel

Silberkuppe at Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Kunstmuseum Basel
with the Emmanuel Hoffman-Stiftung

Contemporary art is littered with old ideas, references, history and conventions. Old ideas frame, define contemporary practice even though it is expected to produce the new, the actual or even the future. Openly acknowledging this paradox, the group exhibition ‘Old Ideas’ at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel – guest curated by the Berlin art space Silberkuppe – features new productions by five artists and an interior designer with diverse cultural backgrounds and artistic approaches. The exhibition entails a discursive reflection on the modes and conditions of artistic production; the relationship between sculpture and performance – both the built and the ephemeral; the museum context as a framework, storehouse or muse; and the interaction of materiality, text and concept.

Phyllida Barlow‘s (b.1944) sculpture Ruin (2010) consists of a space invading room within a room, which compresses the viewing space while exposing its own hand-articulated, freeform anti-architectural inner-workings. Implicit in the work is the turning of the museum space into a fully operational, temporary working studio. Though produced in situ through markings the work suggests its own possible demise, future relocation and reformation. A selection of works by designer Janette Laverrière (b.1909), sketch a composite interior based on designs and ideas from the 1930s to the present day. Her seating-and-table platforms and Black Eye (1990) occasional tables together provide a functional social settling for informal discussions and presentations. Gerry Bibby‘s (b.1977) group of sculptures The Screens/The Islands (2010) is a parade or archipelago of ‘concrete poetry’ posters and panels conceived of as an externalized anti-monument to the idea of a referentially laden subjective interior – a balancing act sometimes on the verge of collapse. The work will be ‘read’ at the opening by a group of performers who assume the poses and body shapes upon which his sculptural forms are based.

The making of Shahryar Nashat‘s (b.1975) new video Today (2010) involved some of the museum’s staff and two sculptures not previously exhibited in the museums collection as the film’s protagonists. His work is a meditation on: the status of art when it is in storage, art when it is in transition from storage to display; and the documentation or reproduction of works of art. The work also raises questions about the vicissitudes of an artistic career through the example of the work of Zurich-based figurative sculptor Karl Geiser (1898-1957) who, in the first part of the last Century, was perhaps one of Switzerland’s most renowned artists. The conceptual photography of Josephine Pryde (b. 1967) also addresses the conditions of art and artistic production, reference and context. Her photographic works, mounted on aluminum poles carry for instance documentation taken during 2007′s Venice Biennale. Arguably the contemporary world implicitly insists on constant affirmation and the promise of instant gratification in an eternal present. Forgetting is preprogrammed and radical, old ideas are cast aside in favor of ‘conservative values’. Dirk Bell‘s (b.1969) new sound and light pieces, including the light-box Panikearth (2010), emulates this world order while suggesting the possibility of unleashing the chaos and celebrating the white noise it generates as an anarchistic force.

Silberkuppe was co-founded by Dominic Eichler and Michel Ziegler in February 2008. Since, they have enabled numerous convention-questioning exhibitions, performances, talks and screenings. ‘Old Ideas’ is the third in a series of four institutional group exhibitions each addressing different aspects of contemporary art production – ’7×14, Silberkuppe Takes the Waters’ Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden May 2009, ‘Rooms without Walls’ the Hayward Gallery Project Space December 2009 and the forthcoming ‘Under One Umbrella’ at the Bergen Kunsthall opening in early March 2010.

Talks, Events and Screenings:

19.01.2010, 6:30pm
A conversation between
Phyllida Barlow and Sarah McCrory

22.01.2010, 6pm – 2am
Museumsnacht Basel 2010
Gerry Bibby
Oliver Tepel
Tour of the exhibition with

26.01.2010, 6:30pm
Sabeth Buchmann

A lecture on the work of
Josephine Pryde

27.01.2010, 6.30pm
Tour of the exhibition with

03.02.2010, 12:30 – 1:15pm
Tour of the exhibition with
Scott Cameron Weaver

09.02.2010, 6:30pm
A film program selected by
Shahryar Nashat

10.02.2010, 6:30pm
A conversation between
Nairy Baghramian and
Scott Cameron Weaver
on the work of Janette Laverrière

04.03.2010, 12:30 – 1:00pm
A tour of the exhibition with
Scott Cameron Weaver

11.03.2010, 6:30pm
Dominic Eichler and Michel Ziegler
A presentation about Silberkuppe

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Museum für Gegenwartskunst
January 14, 2010

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