310809: Generali Foundation: Modernism as a Ruin – Archaeology of the Present

Generali Foundation: Modernism as a Ruin – Archaeology of the Present Deteriorating unglamorously The current exhibition at the Generali Foundation proves that Modernism should be anything but given short measure. On the one hand, the project “Modernism as a Ruin” deals masterfully with artistic media, and on the other it focuses concisely and in a fascinating way on its main theme. Sabine Folie, the curator and director of the Generali Foundation, juxtaposes historic positions, primarily those of the 70s with later ones, some of which are real discoveries. The starting point – the promise of modern design in the broadest sense – might be well known. But its mutation, decay and unglamorous deterioration is consequently and enlighteningly uncovered by these works; oftentimes the periphery moves into the centre of attention: Gordon Matta-Clark’s expeditions through sewage systems, his exploration of the New York wastelands including the garbage incineration and the construction of a garbage wall or Robert Smithson’s slide show “Hotel Palenque” in which a crumbling building and its surroundings are archeologically dissected, are considered as classic Modernism-criticism; they are supplemented by the fine etchings and linoleum prints – these technologies still exist! – by Rob Voerman, who lets facades superimpose and mounts city landscapes in seemingly extra-terrestrial settings, by Cyprien Gaillard’s video “Desniansky Rayon”, in which the spectacular blowing-up of a deteriorating apartment block in Paris is shown or the threateningly pointed mirror sculptures by Giuseppe Gabellone, in which the context and the bodies seem dismembered. Many of these works are linked by the loving and careful way in which the topic of destruction is dealt wih. And even if one only watches excerpts of the films and videos, the purpose of this show is recognizable. Repeated visits are nevertheless advisable. By Nina Schedlmayer Generali Foundation 1040 Vienna, Wiedner Hauptstr. 15, until 20.09.09 www.foundation.generali.at

Generali Foundation
1040 Wien, Wiedner Hauptstrasse 15
Tel: +43 1 504 98 80, Fax: +43 1 504 98 83
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Fr 11-18, Do 11-20, Sa, So 11-16h

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