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Mudam Luxembourg Presents Mondes inventes, Mondes habites

The Mudam Luxembourg presents Mondes inventes, Mondes habites an exhibition on view through 15 January 2012.

The technical object cannot be dissociated from human history, but the relationship between the two remains complex. As a synonym of progress, in Western eyes, the technical object is at once desired and suspect, arousing by turns hope, wonder and disillusion.

Conrad Shawcross, “The Nervous Systems (Inverted),” 2011 (detail).
Aluminium, steel, oak, multicoloured anorak cord, mechanical system.

The exhibition Mondes inventés, Mondes habités (“Invented worlds, Inhabited worlds”) broaches the issue of technology transcended by artistic genius. It highlights the special relationship of creative people, those “technical poets” who, rather than restricting themselves to the utilitarian aspect, base their research on an understanding of existence and the beauty of machines. Through the works of some twenty artists of different generations and with different outlooks, the exhibition offers glimpses of the capacity for invention and wonder, daring and curiosity, hallmarking the human and artistic adventure.

The exhibition focuses first and foremost on the specific figure of the inventor and the imagination, which fuels his research. A whole mythology has in fact developed down the centuries around the artist-cum-inventor, whose guardian figure is indisputably Leonardo da Vinci, an artistic and visionary genius if ever there was, as much an architect and engineer as a painter and musician. The second part of the show underscores the beauty of experience and the accomplishment of forms resulting from the observation and understanding of physical phenomena or natural forces.

The third part extends the boundaries of our world and the perception we may have of it. Here the artists appropriate that part of the dream intrinsic to the discovery and exploration of worlds, but also to the understanding of the living which scientific and technological advances have made possible by making them visible. The fourth and final part of the exhibition mainly includes artistic representations of worlds organized by human activity.

Mondes inventés, Mondes habités is curated by Marie-Noëlle Farcy and Clément Minighetti, who, according to Mudam’s program of commissions, invited English artist Conrad Shawcross to design an installation specifically for the museum’s most spectacular space, the Grand Hall. Entitled The Nervous Systems (Inverted), Shawcross’ work is on show until May 6, 2012.

The exhibition is organized with the support of Kurt Salmon

David Altmejd, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Björn Dahlem, León Ferrari, Vincent Ganivet, Paul Granjon, Theo Jansen, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Paul Laffoley, Isa Melsheimer, Miguel Palma, Panamarenko, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Nancy Rubins, Conrad Shawcross, Roman Signer, Jan Švankmajer

Marie-Noëlle Farcy, Clément Minighetti

Mudam Luxembourg
Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
3, Park Dräi Eechelen, L-1499 Luxembourg

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