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Sammlung Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

21.05. to 11.09. 2022

Julie Becker, Monica Bonvicini, Maurizio Cattelan, Anne-Lise Coste, Hanne Darboven, Sylvie Fleury, Florian Germann, Gianni Motti, Juan Muñoz, Ugo Rondinone, Michael Smith, Paul Thek, Nora Turato

How do disruptions inform our relationship with our world? To explore this question, the two-part exhibition Aus den Fugen – Momente der Störung (Engl.: Out of joint – Moments of disruption) gathers works from the museum’s collection. 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. They can put the order of societies, systems, and institutions to the test and expose their inner workings; targeted attempts to create disturbances often serve to articulate critique. Varying in form, disruptions can manipulate our perceptions, displace meanings, and call firmly held beliefs in question.

In the second chapter of the exhibition, such destabilisation of our perception of reality, and truth, and how the construction of interconnections and narratives can undermine these ideas, are a central concern. The artist Julie Becker, for instance, delves into the myth of a hidden connection between the album The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) by the band Pink Floyd and the movie The Wizard of Oz (1939). By letting us experience that the album is allegedly a secret soundtrack for the film, her work also interrogates the mechanisms of this kind of mythmaking. In Hanne Darboven’s and Paul Thek’s works, complex interconnections between themes from social and cultural contexts emerge in the works themselves, seemingly asserting a convoluted personal truth. Art of this sort prompts us to reflect on how we ourselves conceive of the idea of truth and negotiate it both individually and socially.

The exhibition also surveys scenarios of disruption that arise in reaction to global events or are projected in the realm of fiction, on the movie screen or in literature. Michael Smith’s work, for example, which the artist produced between 1983 and 1985 applies the means of satire to the threat of a nuclear disaster, a very real danger especially during the Cold War. By shaping our interpretation of reality, however, imaginary scenarios of disruption can have social consequences as well. An installation by Monica Bonvicini and sculptures by Juan Muñoz, meanwhile, distort familiar architectonic structures to sinister effect. Here, resistance and rage, vulnerability and disintegration are intimately interwoven. The exhibition moreover presents works that look at disruptive characters. While Ugo Rondinone took inspiration from the clown, who critiques prevailing realities and can unmask social anxieties, Florian Germann, on the other hand, draws upon the phenomenon of the poltergeist who allegedly haunts and harasses people.

As in the first chapter, art’s own relationship with disruption plays an additional key role. Rather than reflecting on the social from an outside observer’s position, art is deeply entangled with it. Artists can critique the status quo, subvert conventions, and open up fresh perspectives as well as spaces of possibility. In this sense, art and disruption are close kin, confronting us with how we see and make sense of things and our individual as well as collective self-images.

Curator: Nadia Schneider Willen, Collection Curator, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Curatorial Assistant: Viktor Hömpler, Curatorial Assistant / Researcher, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

New: audio guide for “Aus den Fugen – Momente der Störung 2”

Visitors' guide
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List of works
See list of works