The Quick and the Dead

The Quick and the Dead

Walker Art Center

Stephen Kaltenbach
Time Capsule (OPEN AFTER MY DEATH), 1970
mild steel
3 x 6 x 3 in. (7.6 x 15.2 x 7.6 cm)
Courtesy Another Year in LA, Los Angeles

April 22, 2009

The Quick and the Dead
April 25 – September 27, 2009

1750 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

When we consider things beyond the here and now, we look to science, philosophy, and religion to help us explore all that transcends our everyday experience. But throughout history, art has always revealed new worlds and offered us ways of thinking about things that lie, in Robert Barry’s words, “totally outside of our perceptual limitations.” Surveying art that tries to reach beyond these limitations of knowledge and experience, The Quick and the Dead seeks, in part, to ask what is alive and dead within the legacy of conceptual art. Organized by Walker curator Peter Eleey, this experimental exhibition grapples with art’s relationship to many of the big questions and deep mysteries in life as they were defined and examined during the pivotal decade of the 1960s and carried forth to the present day.

Sol LeWitt asserted in 1969 that conceptual artists are “mystics rather than rationalists,” and The Quick and the Dead addresses how preoccupations with mortality, transience, and the unknown during the early history of conceptual art linked directly to evolving understandings of time and space. Throughout the exhibition, artists prompt us to consider the wonder of time that is frozen, slowed, or stretched out; the marvel of space folding in on itself, expanding from the museum to places far away, or contracting to that which is contained within our bodies; the oddities of things repeated or caught between states of being; and the uncanniness of viewing our own reflections upturned and in reverse.

With an international group of 53 artists working in a range of media, The Quick and the Dead presents a significant selection of works by many who feature prominently in the early history of conceptual art, and also includes others to whom the term “conceptual” might only loosely apply. Included in the exhibition are new pieces made specifically for the exhibition and a number that have not been previously exhibited or realized. The presentation expands beyond the Walker’s main galleries with pieces by Claes Oldenburg, Adrian Piper, and Simon Starling located elsewhere in the Walker’s building; a new commission from Susan Philipsz in the underground parking ramp; outdoor installations by Pierre Huyghe, Kris Martin, and Bruce Nauman; and a weekly performance of a John Cage composition on the organ at the nearby Basilica of Saint Mary.

Artists in the Exhibition
Francis Alÿs, Robert Barry, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, James Lee Byars, John Cage, Maurizio Cattelan, Paul Chan, Lygia Clark, Tony Conrad, Tacita Dean, Jason Dodge, Trisha Donnelly, Marcel Duchamp, Harold Edgerton, Ceal Floyer, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roger Hiorns, Douglas Huebler, Pierre Huyghe, The Institute For Figuring, Stephen Kaltenbach, On Kawara, Christine Kozlov, David Lamelas, Louise Lawler, Paul Etienne Lincoln, Mark Manders, Kris Martin, Steve McQueen, Helen Mirra, Catherine Murphy, Bruce Nauman, Rivane Neuenschwander, Claes Oldenburg, Roman Ondák, Giuseppe Penone, Susan Philipsz, Anthony Phillips, Adrian Piper, Steven Pippin, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Charles Ray, Tobias Rehberger, Hannah Rickards, Arthur Russell, Michael Sailstorfer, Roman Signer, Simon Starling, John Stezaker, Mladen Stilinović, Sturtevant, Shomei Tomatsu

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated 352-page publication with contributions from Olaf Blanke, Ina Blom, Peter Eleey, Peter Osborne, and Margaret & Christine Wertheim, as well as texts by Theodor W. Adorno, Lygia Clark, Allan Kaprow, John McPhee, Oliver Sacks, Robert Smithson, and Jalal Toufic. Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., available online and at the Walker Art Center Shop, +1.612.375.7633. ISBN 978-0-935640-93-9.

The Quick and the Dead is made possible by generous support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by the Mondriaan Foundation and the David Teiger Foundation. Curatorial research travel is supported by the Mondriaan Foundation and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. Media partner Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.

For press information, please contact Karen Gysin, or +1.612.375.7651.

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April 22, 2009

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