July 2–November 6, 2022
Departing from the focuses of the Mumok collections on the avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s as well as conceptual and socio-analytic approaches in contemporary art, the exhibition Collaborations examines diverse strategies of collective authorship. The exhibition builds a bridge spanning from the smallest to the largest unit of togetherness: from the internal ties of the collective to a particular constellation of the connective, from the artist duo to society—and last but not least, from the love affair to the interconnectedness of life.
The exhibition investigates how artistic models of a “we” can be cultivated for life together as a society: What does collaboration mean in the twenty-first century when fundamental social structures continue to dissolve? How have artists responded to such social and political developments over the decades and what is their position today? How thin is the line between the critique and affirmation of neoliberal structures when building relationships is at risk of becoming an efficiency and profit-driven measure in the artistic realm, too? How can collectivity in thoroughly heterogeneous contexts serve as a social and artistic model of thought and action, when not by accepting the simultaneity of disparate or even contrary elements?
In times of networked connectivity, a look back into art history might advance the current discussion about collaborative action—beyond conventional, social, and national borders. As a movement that not only fundamentally revolutionized artistic production, distribution, and reception paradigms but also originated numerous strategies that represent, as it were, predigital antecedents to algorithms, interconnected networks, and associated models of communitization, the Fluxus movement founded in the 1960s forms the nucleus of the presentation. In addition to the expansion of the typologies of works, image and object traditions, and artistic and participative methods, which were formative for the neo-avant-garde of the mid-twentieth century, the emphasis is placed specifically on the will and ability of artists to go beyond their personal scope in experimental collaborations with colleagues, to allow for change along with the shift in perspective on their own practice.
Collaborations highlights key aspects of the Mumok collection by exhibiting works that operate primarily on a meta-reflexive level. What these works, which often emerged in collective processes, have in common is that they all reflect on ways of living and working together. While the curatorial approach examines artist collectives and their underlying mechanisms and logics, it also frames acting itself as a form of collectivity—a form of acting that equally acknowledges the artistic expressions of individuals as well as those of groups or other models conceived as affiliations and alliances of the participants. The utopian potential of collaborations to transcend Western patriarchal power relations and art market logics of originality and solitary authorship and thereby provoke social change seems to be unwavering.
Artists: Marina Abramović & Ulay, Ant Farm, Art & Language, Martin Beck, Bernadette Corporation, Anna & Bernhard Blume, George Brecht, Günter Brus, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Chto Delat, Leidy Churchman, Clegg & Guttmann, Phil Collins, Bruce Conner, DIE DAMEN, Jean Dupuy, VALIE EXPORT, Peter Faecke and Wolf Vostell, Robert Filliou, Rimma Gerlovina & Valeriy Gerlovin, Gilbert & George, Manfred Grübl, Andreas Gursky, Richard Hamilton and Dieter Roth, Haus-Rucker-Co., Christine & Irene Hohenbüchler, IRWIN, Ray Johnson and Berty Skuber, On Kawara, Friedrich Kiesler, Alison Knowles, Brigitte Kowanz and Franz Graf, Louise Lawler, Lucy R. Lippard, Sharon Lockhart, George Maciunas, Larry Miller, Ree Morton, Otto Muehl, museum in progress, Moriz Nähr, Natalia L.L., Otto Neurath, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Stephen Prina, Jörg Schlick, Hubert Schmalix, Secession, Seth Siegelaub, Christian Skrein, Daniel Spoerri, Petr Štembera and Tom Marioni, Thomas Struth, Timm Ulrichs, VBKÖ, Kerstin von Gabain and Nino Sakandelidze, Franz Erhard Walther, Robert Watts, Franz West, Wiener Gruppe, Oswald Wiener, Heimo Zobernig and others; with the video series lumbung calling from documenta fifteen, curated by ruangrupa.
Curated by Heike Eipeldauer and Franz Thalmair. Exhibition design by Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová