South likes: 9 artists at MIT List, Cambridge, MA

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Hito Steyerl, How Not To Be Seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational. Mov File, 2012. Courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. Photo: Peter Harris

South likes: 9 artists at MIT List, Cambridge, MA
9 artists
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.
9 May – 13 July, 2014

Text by Angeliki Roussou

“9 Artists” is the title of an exhibition that reflects on the role of the artist in the current global condition. The the nine participating artists are Yael Bartana, Liam Gillick, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Renzo Martens, Bjarne Melgaard, Nástio Mosquito, Hito Steyerl, and Danh Vo. Little room for doubt here, that this is a bold endeavour on behalf of curator Ryan Bartholomew (assistant curator at the Walker Art Center). Premiering at the Walker Art Center and later moving to the MIT List Center for Visual Arts, “9 artists” resurfaces a sensitive and widely discussed matter—the position of the artist as subject within a complex and shifting society. Indeed, the selected practices of the more or less acclaimed artists radically interrogate the conditions of artistic production. There seems to be a focus on post-2008 works possibly leaving aside some more relevant works, but only to place the emphasis on the current global order. The sensitivity of the issue could not but demand discursiveness. All the participating artists have contributed with written material for the catalogue which also includes essays by theorists and a contextualisation by the curator. However, even though extensive discourse is conducted also by means of parallel discussions and lectures, for some reason, this list of “9 artists” seems slightly too central or keynote to tackle relevantly the tendencies and complexities of contemporary artistic labour.

http://listart.mit.edu/exhibitions/9-artists

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9 artists, 2014, installation shot, MIT List Visual Arts Center. Courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center. Photo: Peter Harris

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Liam Gillick, The State Itself Becomes a Super Whatnot, 2008, vinyl text on wall. Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, NY

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Liam Gillick, David (He doesn’t turn to see her), 1999, big glass, Bloody Mary
Installation view at Frankfurter Kunstverein, 1999. Photo courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York

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Hito Steyerl, Red Alert, 2007, digital video (color, silent), flat screen monitors, Mac Minis. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2012

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Danh Vo, Tombstone for Phùng Vo, 2010, black absolute granite, gold. Installation View: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Photo: Gene Pittman

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Bjarne Melgaard, Untitled (Bjarne Melgaard interviews Leo Bersani), 2011, video. Image courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York

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Natascha Sadr Haghighian, present but not yet active, 2002, one channel video (color, sound). Photo courtesy the artist and Johann König Gallery, Berlin

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Creative Therapy Session, Institute for Human Activities, Congo, 2012. Photo courtesy Renzo Martens and the Institute for Human Activities

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Nástio Mosquito, Nástia’s Manifesto, 2008, video (color, sound). Remixed by Vic Pereiró. Image courtesy DZZZZ ArtWork

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