artists & participants
The Institut d’art contemporain in Villeurbanne celebrates its thirtieth anniversary in 2008 and, to mark this occasion, invites its founder, Jean Louis Maubant, to curate an exhibition that will be accompanied by a major publication.
Ambition d’art "Artists change the world; at the very least, some of them have tried. Or, to be more exact, some change the individual-as-viewer provided he or she accepts this dialogue with art. This was true when the Nouveau Musée came into being some years ago. Since then the Museum has become the Institut d’art contemporain, where art is seen as something that can be worked on and studied. Obviously, this is no less true today, even if our modern, progressive utopias have suffered the onslaught of business, the spectacular and "every man for himself."
Apprendre à lire l’art - learning to read art – was the title of a Lawrence Weiner exhibition at the Institute and we can well imagine how, from 1978 to 2008, successive programmes have looked for ways to bring this ambition into being. To read the art of one's time is to potentially read one's time differently, to see it in the light of what artists bring by way of fresh illumination. Indeed, the history of art is nothing more than an endless to-and-fro between a society and its artists.
All those taking part in Ambition d’art have, to a greater or lesser degree, transformed a percentage - perhaps larger than one might think - of visitors first to the Museum then to the Institute. They challenge us to (re)consider our situation in relation to the world (Alighiero Boetti), our ability to see things (Daniel Buren), how we relate to objects (Tony Cragg), our tendency to forget mythologies and classicism (Luciano Fabro), how we relate to contemporary religious feeling deep within (Anish Kapoor), time and the relationship between individual and infinity (On Kawara), machismo and its consequences (Martha Rosler), the reconstructed image and painting (Jeff Wall), poetry and the generosity of dialogue (Lawrence Weiner), the strange and the offbeat (Jordi Colomer), and the city and the need to always fight for the survival of utopias (Yona Friedman).
Over the course of these thirty years, the Institute has presented more than one hundred and forty artists in solo or small group shows.
The purpose of Ambition d’art is not to look back on and commemorate these past thirty years. Instead it must consider the present in the light of a very recent past. It must also find ways to bring into perspective different stages in each artist’s work. This is another way to read and reveal the art of eleven of the most important artists of these "between the centuries" years." Jean Louis Maubant
Publication This two-volume publication – published by Les Presses du Réel - features all the artists who have contributed to the adventure that is the Institut d’art contemporain.
Volume I, entitled Alphabet, is a compendium of texts by the artists, excerpts from the Muséographie de l’art contemporain, a colloquium held in 1979 at the Nouveau Musée, and critical texts by art professionals on the question of "what has been happening in art and what has changed in contemporary art structures in Europe over the past thirty years."
Volume II, Archives, retraces the history of the Institut d’art contemporain, exhibition by exhibition from 1978 to 2008, together with a list of works shown and archive documents of meetings, colloquia, master classes, previews and letters exchanged with the artists.
Colloquium As part of the exhibition, the Institut d’art contemporain is holding the Ambition d’art colloquium on May 30th and 31st 2008, with artists, critics, historians, philosophers and directors of European bodies.
Measured against the Institute’s thirty years, the colloquium will examine factors in the transmission and evaluation of artistic criteria in today's social and political context.
only in german
Kurator: Jean Louis Maubant
mit Alighiero e Boetti, Daniel Buren, Jordi Colomer, Tony Cragg, Luciano Fabro, Yona Friedman, Anish Kapoor, On Kawara, Martha Rosler, Jeff Wall, Lawrence Weiner