press release

This exhibition is the first major retrospective of Adrian Piper’s important œuvre in France, in fact, the largest ever to be shown in Europe – first in Austria at the Generali Foundation in Vienna, and then at the Institut d’art contemporain in Villeurbanne. A broad spectrum of her works will be displayed, ranging from paintings and early conceptual works of the sixties and her performances of the seventies to recent works. Amongst those, which will be shown for the first time in Europe, are a large number of conceptual pieces as well as a series of audio works, which Adrian Piper created in the sixties. Even as a relatively young artist, Adrian Piper, born in 1948 in Harlem/New York, USA, already had an impressive career as a conceptual artist. The majority of her early conceptual pieces are works on paper, using text, numbers, drawings, and/or photographs where an examination of the aspects of time and space takes place. In reaction to various political events, Adrian Piper started to analyze her social position as an artist, a woman, and an African-American. The medium of conceptual art was no longer suited to her concerns and she aimed above all to introduce her art unobtrusively into non-art contexts. In the seventies Adrian Piper began to conceive as well as realize performances. Since the eighties, Adrian Piper has been known for her interrogations of themes such as racism, xenophobia, and the nature of the self. Her works—photo/text collages, drawings, performances and (video) installations—are conceived as an act of political communication. The artist wants to provoke viewers into reacting directly to their own often deeply rooted impulses and answers regarding these topics. Rather then employing an elitist “art-jargon,” she strives to create a situation, which allows the viewers to react directly. Piper refers to this concept as the “indexical present.” Amongst those, also very popular works, are the so-called Funk Lessons (1982-84), where Piper invited the participants to collectively listen to and dance to funk music and in doing so to simultaneously reflect upon racist stereotypes of African-Americans. Her latest group of works, the Color Wheel-Series (2000), starts with large tableaux to exercise self-awareness. which will also be on show at this years documenta 11 in Kassel. In this series Adrian Piper uses the Pantone-Color Wheel as a matrix to establish skin tones. Exhibition organized by the Generali Foundation, Vienna (Austria). Pressetext

only in german

Adrian Piper - Depuis 1965
Kooperation: Generali Foundation, Wien
Kurator: Sabine Breitwieser