The title of MAMCO’s new sequence of exhibitions programmed by Lionel Bovier, Récit d’un temps court [Tale of a Short Time Span] refers to the ways in which a period is divided up by historians and underlines the narrative dimension of the museum’s discourse. Accordingly, the museum’s collections, which range from the 1960s up to the present day, have been organized chronologically from the 3rd to the 1st floor.
By means of both monographic and collective presentations, constructed around some of the collection’s principal works and supplemented by external loans, the museum shows how movements, critical concepts, and new attitudes have emerged in the art of recent decades. Visitors thus move from discussion of an “art of the real” in the 1960s to Minimal and Conceptual art; from the relationships between art and architecture to those between sculpture and performance in the 1970s; from appropriation to the “cultural turn” of the 1980s; and from the “Relational aesthetics” of the 1990s in Europe to the New York scene of the 2000s. In addition to artists never previously shown at MAMCO, such as Charlotte Posenenske, General Idea, and Ren.e Green, visitors will find again works by Guy de Cointet, Xavier Veilhan, and Franz Erhard Walther, in new configurations — an articulation that signals both renewal and heritage.
This reorganization is also reflected in the collection’s development politics: a number of important groups of works entrusted to the museum are currently being acquired, the most noteworthy of these being L’Appartement, the collection assembled by Ghislain Mollet-Vi.ville. Artists too, in particular Jim Shaw and John Miller, have offered works that were conspicuously absent from the museum. Collectors have also helped enrich the collection by enabling the acquisition of an important piece by Sherrie Levine, and by offering works by Wade Guyton, Francis Baudevin, and Tobias Madison & Emanuel Rossetti. The museum friends’ association, the AMAMCO, meanwhile, has made possible the purchase of two pieces by Seth Price. Most of these new acquisitions are presented in this sequence and color-coded labeling has been employed in order to distinguish loans from works belonging to the collection.
The fourth floor is devoted to a temporary exhibition that looks back over the dialogue between the art scenes of French-speaking Switzerland and New York in the 1980s and 1990s, a period that encompasses Olivier Mosset’s talk of “Radical Painting” with Marcia Hafif, John Armleder’s conversations about “cultural geometry” with Peter Halley, and the repercussions of these discussions on artists of several successive “generations.” Constructed from local collections, both public and private, the aim behind this show is to offer another episode in this “story of a short time,” one that precedes the opening of MAMCO and traces its early years through the prism of geography.
– Lionel Bovier
GVA <-> JFK looks back over exchanges between the New York and French-speaking Switzerland art scenes from the 1980s and 1990s. A period that spans Olivier Mosset and MarciaHafif’s discussion of “radical painting” (to quote thetitle of the exhibition at the Williamstown College Museum of Art of 1979) and the apparent blast of this abstract vocabularyin the practice of artists such as Philippe Decrauzat, Stéphane Dafflon, and Lisa Beck.
– Lionel Bovier
Artists: John M Armleder, Francis Baudevin, Lisa Beck, Alexandre Bianchini, St.phane Dafflon, Philippe Decrauzat, Steve DiBenedetto, Marcia Hafif, Helmut Federle, Sylvie Fleury, Christian Floquet, Francesca Gabbiani, Peter Halley, Karen Kilimnik, Alix Lambert, Christian Marclay, Cady Noland, Olivier Mosset, Amy O’Neill, Steven Parrino, Michael Scott, Haim Steinbach, Sidney Stucki, Blair Thurman, John Tremblay, Alan Uglow, Vidya Gastaldon & Jean-Michel Wicker and Dan Walsh.