Centre Pompidou – Vides (voids) – Art culture musée expositions cinémas conférences débats spectacles concerts

A quite exceptional event, “Vides” (Voids) is a retrospective of empty exhibitions since that of Yves Klein in 1958. In almost a dozen rooms of the National Museum of Modern Art, it assembles in a totally original manner exhibitions that showed absolutely nothing, leaving empty the space for which they were designed.

The idea of exhibiting emptiness is a recurring notion in the history of art over the past fifty or so years, almost to the point of becoming a cliché in the practice of contemporary art. Since the exhibition by Yves Klein – “The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State of Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility” in Paris in 1958, totally empty exhibitions have been the statement of different conceptions of vacuums.

While for Yves Klein it was a way to point out the sensitive state, by contrast it represents the peak of conceptual and minimal art for Robert Barry with “Some places to which we can come, and for a while ‘be free to think about what we are going to do’ (Marcuse)” (1970). It may also result from the desire to fudge the understanding of exhibition spaces, as in the work “The Air-Conditioning Show” from Art & Language (1966-1967), or to empty an institution to modify our experience, as in the work by Stanley Brouwn. It also reflects the will to create the experience of the qualities of an exhibition venue, as with Robert Irwin and his exhibition at the ACE Gallery in 1970, or with Maria Nordman at her exhibition in Krefeld in 1984. Emptiness also represents a form of radicalness, like that created by Laurie Parsons in 1990 at the Lorence-Monk gallery, which announced his renouncement of all artistic practice. For Bethan Huws and his work “Haus Esters Piece” (1993), emptiness means being able to celebrate the museum’s architecture, signifying that art is already there on site and there is no need to add works of art. Emptiness assumes almost a sense of economic demand for Maria Eichhorn who, in leaving her exhibition empty at the Kunsthalle Bern in 2001, helped to devote the budget to the building’s renovation. With “More Silent than Ever” (2006), Roman Ondák, for his part, had the onlooker believing that there is more than what is just left there to be seen.

via Centre Pompidou – Vides (voids) – Art culture musée expositions cinémas conférences débats spectacles concerts.

Maria Eichhorn – ‘Das Geld der Kunsthalle Bern / Money at the Kunsthalle Bern’

Maria Eichhorn‘s exhibition ‘Das Geld der Kunsthalle Bern / Money at the Kunsthalle Bern’ (2000) resulted from her research into funding of the exhibition and her decision to devote the entire budget for her show to the renovation of the building. The entire museum was on show during this renovation and visitors could watch the process from up close, even in rooms that were normally hidden from view.

via Maria Eichhorn | pietmondriaan.com.

Bethan Huws + Mies van der Rohe

The site of this exhibition was one of a pair of Modernist villas built by Mies van der Rohe in 1928–30 that had been converted into gallery space. When artist Bethan Huws first saw the house she found it so beautiful that she decided to leave it empty for her exhibition, treating it as both a readymade and an artwork in its own right that needed nothing added to it. To accompany her show, she did, however, prepare a text, which consisted of a selection of words — adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, declinations of the verb “to be,” etc. — excerpted from a conversation with her partner, Thierry Hauch, but that on their own meant absolutely nothing. Although the only permanent “void” created by Yves Klein is just next door in the Haus Lange (the second Mies van der Rohe villa), Huws claims she was not particularly inspired by Klein’s intervention, since she feels distant from his philosophy and “mystifications.” She has also said that the Haus Esters exhibition came at the end of an intense period of work that had left her creatively unsure and empty and that following the show she produced nothing for five years.

via FramingArK: Bethan Huws + Mies van der Rohe.