Whatspace @ Hardspace

Agata Ingarden, Anna K.E., Arthur Löwen, Bas van den Hurk & Jochem van Laarhoven & Sanne Jansen, Cheryl Donegan, FLAME, Florian Meisenberg, Folkert de Jong, Giulia Cenci, Jeroen Doorenweerd, Joep van Liefland, Koen Delaere, Madeleine Boschan, Maximilian Arnold, Mike Bouchet, Paul Morrison, René Spitzer, Richard Jacobs, Sophie Jung, Studio Stallinga


A painting that used to be merely visible for a small group of people, can now- adays be on the net by one simple action and appear as a global image. What does this new relationship to images do to the position of art in society? The exhibition’s title is adopted from the eponymous text of Boris Groys from 2009. “Ours is a time in which we reconsider – not abandon, not reject, but analyse and reconsider – the modern projects”, in his text Boris Groys pleas for a re- consideration of modernity, not a rejection, not an embrace, but a reconsidera- tion: „contemporary art can be seen as art that is involved in the reconsideration of the modern projects“. Groys concludes that the answer lies in time based arts only, because canonical arts, to him, are „immobile“ and „passive“.
Acknowledging the analysis, we disagree with the conclusion: We see a new generation of artists that uses what David Joselit calls „transitivity“, relating the internal qualities of a work – what it looks like – to its external quali- ties, understood as its life in a social and mediated network of conception, production and distribution. This is the way we think another answer to the question of modernity is also possible, using the canonical arts – painting, drawing, sculpture – with a renewed confidence in their fundamental possi- bilities.
We see this revived commitment to explore its relation to formalism, the possibilities of abstraction and expression, their disintegration and possi- ble reconstruction among a great number of artists lately. Throughout their work there is a continuous re-issuing and re-situating of formats that are all too easily seen as passive and immobile, and which are now brought into ever-changing context.
* Boris Groys, Comrades of Time. First published by e-flux, 2009.