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Sammlung Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

29.01. to 01.05. 2022

!Mediengruppe Bitnik, Lynda Benglis, Vanessa Billy, Alighiero Boetti, Christoph Büchel, Andrea Fraser, Guerrilla Girls, Fabrice Gygi, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Gianni Motti, Cady Noland, Yuri Pattison, Pipilotti Rist, Katharina Sieverding, Hito Steyerl

Disruptions can manifest as the soft grinding of sand in the gears, briefly stalling the familiar course of everyday routines. Others are dramatic and radical, shattering our reality. The exhibition Aus den Fugen – Momente der Störung (English: Out of joint – Moments of disruption) gathers works from the collection that relate to disturbing events, phenomena, or actions in order to question how such interference informs our relationship with our world.

Societies, systems, and institutions frequently find themselves under pressure to respond to unexpected disturbances that challenge their regular operations. Irritating, debilitating, and destabilizing incidents can uncover hidden structures and functionalities. This makes them potentially instructive: they can expose the weakness of a system or the actual distribution of power. Targeted acts of disruption often serve to articulate critique and resistance. Their effects may be felt on a symbolic level, undermining or displacing narratives or significances. Not uncommonly, disturbances spark change.

The exhibition features moments of disruption that manifest differently: in some instances, artists depart from historic events or incidents of disruption that they personally experienced; in others, it is the works themselves that act as disruptors in specific contexts. A work by Katharina Sieverding, for example, is based on a major blackout in New York that brought the city to a halt. Christoph Büchel’s group of sculptures grapples with the profoundly destabilizing effects of terrorist threats. Works by !Mediengruppe Bitnik, the Guerrilla Girls, and Gianni Motti are disruptive in their own right or document disturbances. These artists intervene in artistic, political, and societal contexts in order to interrogate their prevailing rules. For decades, the Guerrilla Girls have been staging poster campaigns to draw attention to sexism and racism in the art world and to pose critical challenges to institutions and their self-images. On view in the exhibition are works by Gianni Motti that probe and undermine the power of political institutions and large technology companies. Works like these demonstrate how disruptions can engage in a status quo and alter it. In addition to spotlighting the critical potential of disruptions, the exhibition explores how irritation and subversion can open up new perspectives and spaces of possibility.

Curator: Nadia Schneider Willen (Collection Curator, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst)
Curatorial assistant: Viktor Hömpler (Trainee, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst)

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List of works
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