press release

During the 1990s, a number of artists claimed the exhibition itself as a medium. Working independently and in various collaborative constellations, they eschewed the discrete aesthetic object in favor of the exhibition environment as a dynamic arena, ever expanding in its physical and temporal parameters. For these artists, an exhibition can be a film, a novel, a shared meal, a social space, a performance, or a journey. Using the museum as a platform for projects that reach beyond the visual arts, their work often commingles with disciplines such as architecture, design, and theater, engaging directly with the vicissitudes of everyday life to offer subtle moments of transformation.

The Guggenheim’s exhibition, theanyspacewhatever, brings together 10 artists who exemplify this creative impulse: Angela Bulloch, Maurizio Cattelan, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Jorge Pardo, Philippe Parreno, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. While these artists all employ markedly different aesthetic strategies and do not constitute a formally affiliated group, their varying practices are conceptually unified by a desire to shift the terms of artistic practice beyond mimetic representation, and in doing so engender a kind of activated spectatorship. Invited to collectively formulate a scenario for an exhibition, they determined, in discussion with Nancy Spector, Chief Curator, that the presentation should comprise a series of individual projects that intersect and overlap in the museum’s spiraling rotunda. This layered installation thus reflects the dialectic between the group and the individual that informs their shared histories.

This exhibition is sponsored by Hugo Boss. Additional support is provided by The Waldorf=Astoria Collection; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Etant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art, a program of FACE; and The Grand Marnier Foundation. The Guggenheim Museum gratefully acknowledges the Leadership Committee for theanyspacewhatever.

Organized by Nancy Spector, Chief Curator.