This is Art and Art is Many Things
Public lecture with Sebastian Cichocki: “This is Art and Art is Many Things” | The 6th International Symposium Curating Exchange | Spaces, Functions, Fictions and Other Commons | organized by press to exit project space | 20 May 2017, Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje, 19:00 – 21:00 h
In the 1970s by Jerzy Ludwiński, a Polish art theoretician and critic, announced the arrival of postartistic times. He observed the transformation of art to be the result of its assumption of a completely new form; one which the critical language of his time was not able to do justice. Ludwiński claimed that post-art had an undeniably greater potential than the activities traditionally recognised as artistic. He wrote: “All previous notions relating to art are cancelled out, even that of authorship. What matters are the tensions created by the collective effort of many individuals that contributes to the making of one system, pulsating with its own life like some gigantic work of nature. Art = reality.”
Such postartistic times signal an era in which a high “coefficient of art” (as the theorist Stephen Wright has described the phenomenon, referring to Marcel Duchamp’s lecture “The Creative Act”, 1957) present in many areas of life; when an artist’s work does not always materialize in the form of an art piece; while the art itself is carried out in a 1:1 scale, instead of generating models for situations and things.
How does one measure the coefficient of art in a device which collects fog and supplies water to inhabitants of a desert in Chile? How much art is there in the collaboration of a Turkish beekeeper with a beehive during the production of psychoactive honey? But another question is really perplexing: is there more art within or outside the walls of the museum?
*The title of the lecture paraphrases the title of the exhibition “This is the Show, and the Show is Many Things” at S.M.A.K. in Ghent (1994), described as “a fun palace, a rumpus room, a discount warehouse, a museum without walls, a wasteland and a Wunder-Kabinett of the marvellous and the inconsequential”.
Sebastian Cichocki is a curator, writer, and art critic. He is chief curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and curator of the Sculpture Park in the Warsaw district of Bródno. In the years 2005 to 2008 he was program director of the Contemporary Art Centre in Bytom. Cichocki’s main focus is the postartistic and 1:1 scale practices, conceptual reflection in art, land art, thing theory and the book as a form of exhibition. He has curated a number of solo and group exhibitions including Monika Sosnowska’s presentation in the Polish Pavilion at the 52nd, and Yael Bartana at the 54th Venice Biennale. He has produced a number of experimental exhibitions in the form of books, librettos, as well as residency programs and staged lectures. Cichocki lives and works in Warsaw.
In partnership with:
Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje
Embassy of Poland, Skopje