press release

We waited 15 years to be able to celebrate the opening of the Museum Grand Duc Jean in Luxemburg, commissioned by the State of Luxemburg and conceived by architect Ieoh Ming Pei. On this occasion, I have the pleasure to present a group show, WATCH OUT, and I am grateful to the artists joining in the project with specific works for our concept.

Marina Abramovic, Francis Alÿs, Atelier Van Lieshout, Tamy Ben-Tor, Wim Delvoye, Tue Greenfort, Jenny Holzer, William Kentridge, Martin Kippenberger, Kosyo, Sigalit Landau, Jonathan Meese, Miri Segal, Pavel Wolberg.

The show addresses issues of fear in contemporary society. Topics such as migration, environment, war, self-organisation and globalization are discussed within a socio-political context. While the works on display cause an atmosphere of concern and instability, they are neither moralizing nor judgmental. Humour just as much as critical investigation become means to destabilize our own modes of perception, ultimately hinting at new forms of experience and awareness. It is up to each viewer to negotiate the parameters of new potential forms of subjectivity and reflection. As such, the works do not superimpose themselves on political or social realities; they merely accompany them.

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye’s selfportrait, could refer to primitive paintings featuring the artist as Madonna, his tears however are not meant for the Christ. Danish artist Tue Greenfort shows his manufactured bio-system ‘drinkingwatercooling system’, demonstrating with this work that simple ideas can be much more effective to human kind than sophisticated improvements. In Jonathan Meese’s painting Saint Justyr, St. Juste is a man whose controverse actions beyond good and evil should be a warning to our complacency. Meese believes that culture will revolutionize our society in the future. Jenny Holzer, contributes a text, that if read carefully, proves that the ‘state in the state’ is a reality. It is no secret that the US had a continuing interest in Nicaragua, but the cynicism of the letter between former CIA director William Casey and John Singlaub brings to our mind how little we are aware of the danger close to us. MoMA, N.Y. and the Public Art Fund produced Francis Alÿs’s film, The Modern Procession’. Francis Alÿs directed this parade of masterpieces: Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’’, Duchamp’s ‘Bicycle Wheel’, ‘Standing Women’ from Giacometti, and other Matisses. Carried on palanquins from 53rd street to Queens, to liberate the museum for reconstruction, Francis Alÿs takes our art icons to a baroque promenade where believers burst into tears in front of the appearance of these venerated works. Atelier Van Lieshout joins with a polyester sculpture ‘les citoyens’ crashed flat to the form of a spider sticking on the wall. His ‘we are like this’ images of ourselves may be difficult to accept, but do not spare us a look at our psychological mirror. Tamy Ben-Tor’s ferociously incisive, fiercely funny video ‘Women Talk About Adolf Hitler’, is a demonstration of how perverse this person still haunts our mind. Bulgarian artist Kosyo, makes sculptures like a performance. The aquaresin sculpture ‘Hitler With Bitten Off Moustache’ shows him really biting into the clay the form of Hitler’s moustache, a gesture of a cannibal’s strange kiss. William Kentridge’s large etching ‘Telephone Lady’, uses a telephone head as metaphor for a body part and the ever fleeing spirit of the real. Kippenberger’s cute ‘Dwarf with canon and bullets’ may be funny, but impossible to decorate the sweet home’s garden with it. Miri Segal’s video installation ‘UnUn (too easy to ease)’ deals with questions of potentiality and of the open Sigalit Landau presents her video ‘Barbed Hula’ filmed on a beach near Tel Aviv. Very common exercice for youngsters in the fifties, the plastic hula here, made of barbed wire, fatally injures the female body and gives evidence to how cruelly youth is taken away from children in war areas like Israel or others. Born in Leningrad in 1966, Pavel Wolberg’s photographical lens turns every day’s images of war into proustian landscapes of sheer beauty and therefore even more tragic. The plaintive sound of former Yougoslavia’s singer, famous Olivera Katarina, cryes up against men in their national costume. Marina Abramovic’s ‘Balkan Erotic Epic’ is an erotic romp through ancient Balkan customs. It refers to how sexual energy’s suppression and misunderstanding is near to the phenomenon like rape, violence and war.

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Marina Abramovic, Francis Alÿs, Atelier van Lieshout, Tamy Ben-Tor, Wim Delvoye, Tue Greenfort, Jenny Holzer, William Kentridge, Martin Kippenberger, Kosyo , Sigalit Landau, Jonathan Meese, Miri Segal, Pavel Wolberg