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Contemporary Art looks at the Collection Nekes

They guide, captivate, seduce, and mislead the viewer’s eye: anamorphoses, Laterna Magica devices, kaleidoscopes, or perspective theaters. Today, many contemporary artists turn to the images produced by these optical contrivances and appartuses, which are considered to be the forerunners of present film, television, and the digital age. The artists often incorporate these historical media into their works together with the use of video, digital camera or computer. Their interest, however, is not led by nostalgic yearning but by the aim at questioning the production of present-day images, examining the current manner of seeing, and visualizing the process of creating images.

The exhibition Blickmaschinen explores this subject pieces by 40 contemporary artists since the 1960s such as Dennis Adams, Olafur Eliasson, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Douglas Gordon, Rodney Graham, William Kentridge, Mischa Kuball, Pipilotti Rist, Thomas Ruff, Robert Smithson or Kara Walker. These artists’ work is on display together with circa 200 historic pieces from the filmmaker Werner Nekes’ prominent collection.

Through this juxtaposition the exhibition offers an unprecedented look at the origins of imagery production and how fiction and reality, illusion and vision intertwine. Together with the historico-cultural exhibits from the Nekes Collection the historical evolution of imagery production is demonstrated against the backdrop of the respective technological possibilities. The objects are showcased as groupings of work comprising media-archaeological stations within the exhibition’s thematic setting. In part, they are displayed in vitrines, in part they can be used by the audience.

By contrast, the artistic pieces visualize the specific conditions and characteristics that determine the creation of artistic imagery and the questioning of images. Materializing passed down concepts and contraptions means more than resuscitation: it contains the potential for development and innovation, for astonishment and experimentation. In comparing images – produced by instruments and different technologies – and the human eye’s capacity for processing images, an examination of the way in which we see, visually and cognitively, takes place.

This touring exhibition will begin in the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen (November 23, 2008 – May 10, 2009). Subsequent venues are the C3 Center for Culture & Communication Foundation in the Mücsarnok/Art Gallery, Budapest/Hungary (June 19, 2009 – August 23, 2009) and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla/Spain (September 17, 2009 – November 22, 2009).

Visual Tactics is sponsored by the German Federal Art Foundation, the State of North-Rhine Westsphalia and Pro Helvetia. The exhibition is part of the Culture Programme of the European Union.

Exhibition curators:: Nike Bätzner, Werner Nekes, Eva Schmidt in cooperation with Miklós Peternák and José Lebrero Stals.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue from Dumont Publishers. Essays: Nike Bätzner, Peter Bexte, Roberto Casati, Heinz-Werner Lawo, Helga Lutz, Hanne Loreck, Michael Mayer, Miklós Peternák, Jean-Christophe Royoux und Eva Schmidt.

Participating artists:

Adams, Dennis (*1949)
Bastien, Pierre (*1953)
Belinchón, Sergio (*1971)
Csörgő, Attila (*1965)
Császári, Gábor (*1959)
Díaz Morales, Sebastián (*1975)
Eliasson, Olafur (*1964)
Erdély, Miklós (1928-1986)
Feldmann, Hans-Peter (*1941)
Gordon, Douglas (*1966)
Graham, Rodney (*1949)
Grossarth, Ulrike (*1952)
Hahner, Margarete (*1960)
Haus-Rucker-Co (*1943, *1941, *1941, Gruppengründung 1967)
Kentridge, William (*1955)
Khedoori, Rachel (*1964)
Kiessling, Dieter (*1957)
Kuball, Mischa (*1959)
Le Parc, Julio (*1928)
Maurer, Dóra (*1937)
Meldner, Katharina (*1943)
Noble, Tim & Webster, Sue (*1966, *1967)
Dore O (*1946)
Paolini, Giulio (*1940)
Pippin, Steven (*1960)
Pitz, Hermann (*1956)
Polke, Sigmar (*1941)
Raetz, Markus (*1941)
Rist, Pipilotti (*1962)
Rothschild, Miguel (*1963)
Ruscha, Ed (*1937)
Ruff, Thomas (*1958)
Schilling, Alfons (*1934)
Schöffer, Nicolas (1912-1992)
Silveira, Regina (*1939)
Smithson, Robert (1938-1973)
Stratmann, Roland (*1964)
Szegedy-Maszák, Zoltán (*1969) & Márton Fernezelyi (*1972)
Valldosera, Eulŕlia (*1963)
Walker, Kara (*1969)

Press Contact
Stefanie Scheit-Koppitz

Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen
Unteres Schloss 1
57072 Siegen
Telefon: 0271 405 77 10
Telefax: 0271 405 77 32

Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
23. November 2008 - 10. Mai 2009
Blickmaschinen / Visual Tactics

Mücsarnok / Kunsthalle, Budapest
19. Juni - 23. August 2009

Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla
17. September 2009 - 10. Januar 2010
Máquinas de mirar

Visual Tactics is generously supported by the Federal Art Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) and the North Rhein-Westphalian state government.

Supported by the

The Governor of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

This presentation is an exhibition that is part of the project Visuelle Taktiken / Visual Tactics and is promoted by the EU-Culture Programme.

EU Kultur

A further sponsor is Pro Helvetia:

pro helvetia