Specters of the Nineties
10 september – 20 november 2011
Curators: Lisette Smits and Matthieu Laurette
Artists: Art Club 2000, Sadie Benning, Bernadette Corporation, Plamen Dejanov & Swetlana Heger, Jeremy Deller, Stephan Dillemuth and Hans-Christian Dany, Maria Eichhorn, Annika Eriksson, Andrea Fraser, Rainer Ganahl, Renée Green, Jens Haaning, Pierre Huyghe, Karen Kilimnik, Ben Kinmont, Job Koelewijn, Renée Kool, Aleksandra Mir, Regina Müller, N55, Marylène Negro-Klaus Scherübel, Laurie Parsons, Asier Pérez, Dan Peterman, Hinrich Sachs, Joe Scanlan, Tilo Schulz, SUPERFLEX, Apolonija Sustersic, Barbara Visser, Carey Young.
Within the long-term program covering the avant-garde, Specters of the Nineties looks at the last decade of the 20th century through a selection of art works made in the period between 1989 and 2000.
The most prominent characteristics of the 1990s, commonly known as the beginning of ‘The Information Age’, are without doubt the revolutionary development of digital technology the emergence of a global capitalism. The claim being made in the exhibition is that the artistic practices of the 1990s not only reflect these developments, but also testify of the way the digital revolution has altered the artistic practice itself – art of the 1990s being, in other words, both informed and formed by these changes.
The artistic practices of the 1990s have often been referred to as ‘social art’ and subsequently their value has been measured in social rather than artistic terms. Instead, Specters of the Nineties unfolds how the technological developments of the time have marked the production and dispersion of art, the notion of access and audience, the issue of authorship, and ultimately, the nature of artistic work and the aesthetics of the artefact itself. The artistic practices of the 1990s persistently seek to redefine the utilitarian relations of art in a new economic reality, which is why it could be argued that they truly are a part of a ‘classic’ avant-garde project.
Specters of the Nineties presents a selection of art works and practices from the 1990s that could be considered as anticipating on the social and political constellations of today and the position of art therein. What is the legacy of the artistic practices of the 1990s? Are they still haunting today’s art practices? Or have they, as a ‘social project’, dissolved in our social reality altogether?
The exhibition consists of an anthology of artistic practices and works, including sculpture, installation, painting, photography and video, made between 1989 and 2000. The exhibitions also includes reconstructions, documents and archival material that, in a documentary style, represent the site specific, system specific, process based, one-time, or otherwise ephemeral character of the artistic practices of the 1990s.
A new essay by Hans-Christian Dany is published in conjunction with the exhibition.