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MUSEION of Modern and Contemporary Art Bolzano presents The New Public

MUSEION of Modern and Contemporary Art Bolzano presents The New Public. From a new public dimension to new users, open 14 September 2012–13 January 2013.

The New Public is the exhibition set to open Museion’s autumn season. The New Public has been curated by Rein Wolfs, Museion’s guest curator for 2012 and director of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel.

The main theme of the exhibition is the new “public dimension” of politics, daily life and art, explored in more than 30 works that include installations, sculptures, large drawings and video. The show features 14 artists: Nina Beier, Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak, Valentin Carron, Matias Faldbakken, Petrit Halilaj, Christian Jankowski, Klara Lidén, Helen Marten, Danh Vo; Juliette Blightman, Erik van Lieshout and Metahaven created new works and installations for the occasion, while San Keller stages a new performance piece. The exhibition is designed as a transparent public arena that brings together different artistic stances, set against the sublime Alpine landscape outside.

Our concept of the public dimension has changed hugely over the last few decades. Following the privatisations implemented by neo-liberal governments, public control over economic and social developments has weakened, making way for a new world order run by the private economy. In the light of the current economic and financial crisis these developments are regarded with a critical eye; protest movements like “Occupy” insistently call for the establishment of a new res publica.

In other ways, however, the concept of the “public sphere” has gained increasing importance in today’s society. Intimate matters are published at the drop of a hat; thoughts are declared before they are even properly formulated, and anything perceived as immoral is instantly condemned. Everything is there for the taking, and thanks to technological gadgetry, those who were traditionally on art’s receiving end have now become producers of images.

The importance of the public in contemporary art has also changed radically. New communication strategies influence the way museums approach mediation and public relations. Moreover, curatorial work and even artistic practice itself have developed new and unexpected ways of relating to the public. The public has changed, becoming what could be considered a new public.

The works on display for The New Public express different artistic visions of the new public dimension: the comparison/contrast between public and private (Helen Marten, Erik van Lieshout, Juliette Blightman, Petrit Halilaj, San Keller and Danh Vo); the contamination between “public space” and museum venue (Matias Faldbakken, Klara Lidén); the fine line between the free market and public art (Christian Jankowski, Nina Beier, Metahaven) and lastly the demise and monumentalisation of public ideologies and religion (Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak, Valentin Carron).

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue (ita/dt/eng) published by Walther König. Texts by Rein Wolfs, Maria Lind and Federico Campagna.

MUSEION of modern and contemporary art Bolzano
Via Dante 6
39100 Bolzano, Italy

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