Daimler Contemporary

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On the Subject of the Ready-made

or Using a Rembrandt as an Ironing Board

24 Nov 2016 - 14 May 2017

Heimo Zobernig, Donald Judd, Andy Warhol. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
André Cadere, Hayley Tompkins, Guy Tillim, Siegfried Cremer, Peter Roehr, Liu Zheng, Franz West. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
Olivier Mosset, Leonhard Schmidt, Daniel Buren, Hermann Glöckner, Andreas Brandt, Elaine Sturtevant, Donald Judd a.o. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
Günter Fruhtrunk, Lothar Quinte, Jean Arp, Isabell Heimerdinger, Willi Baumeister, Dieter Blum, Tadaaki Kuwayma, Franz West, Andy Warhol, Andreas Schmid, Guy Tillim a.o. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
Jürgen Schadeberg, Andreas Schmid, Guy Tillim, Dieter Blum, Jean Arp, Isabell Heimerdinger, Willi Baumeister, Donald Judd, Tadaaki Kuwayama. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
Sergio Fermariello, Adolf Hoelzel, Patrick Fabian Panetta, John Nixon, Max Ackermann, John M Armleder, Lothar Quinte. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
Hartmut Böhm, Gia Edzgveradze, Max Bill, Richard Artschwager, Esteban Pastorino, Ian Anüll, Tom Sachs, Jean Arp, Viviane Sassen, Greg Bogin a.o. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
Dieter Blum, Anton Stankowski, Adolf Fleischmann, Adolf Hoelzel, Liu Zheng, Christa Winter, Hartmut Böhm, Gia Edzgveradze, Max Bill. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
Ulrike Rosenbach, Bill Beckley, Josef Albers, Donald Judd, Roland Fischer. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
David Goldblatt, Donald Judd, Pietro Sanguineti, Zheng Guogu, Josef Albers, Ulrike Rosenbach. Installation view at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, 2016
or To Use a Rembrandt as an Ironing-board

Works from the Daimler Art Collection selected by Bethan Huws on the occasion of 100 years of the ready-made
with loans from the Duchamp Archive of Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
25 November 2016 — 14 May 2017

The concept of the ready-made was ‘born’ in 1916 when Marcel Duchamp, in New York, defined it in a letter to his sister in Paris. The aim of the ready-made is to achieve a radical revaluation of artistic production: this consists principally of an act of selection and reduction applied to already existing elements, with the focus on ‘exhibition-immanent’ aspects such as presentation, communication, documentation, and dissemination. Furthermore, the ready-made redefines the reality character and the reproduction function of the artwork as well as the role of observers as ‘interpreters’.

Whilst the Daimler Art Collection’s serial exhibition blocks have previously concentrated on the collection’s own areas of interest in the realm of minimalist and conceptual tendencies from the 20th century to the present day, the exhibition ‘On the Subject of the Ready-Made’ explores the historical and contemporary significance of the ready-made, using artworks from the collection. The intention is that the aspects of art theory and art criticism should be incorporated as critical factors in the history of the reception of ready-mades.

Bethan Huws is a conceptual artist who synthesizes a variety of artistic media in location- specific and space-related artworks, each time renegotiating the significance of art in society. The basis for her work is provided by language: the spoken word, and the communicative system. Her artistic praxis unites language artworks in the form of wall texts, book objects, neon sign texts, readings, performances, and text vitrines with ready-mades, sculptures, and films. For the exhibition ‘On the Subject of the Ready-Made’ the artist has devised a location specific project, selecting examples of artwork from the Daimler Art Collection.

Bethan Huws’ curatorial concept starts with Duchamp’s praxis of a combinatorial thinking, the inherent logic and the analytical wealth of allusions found in Duchamp’s conceptual approach. She represents these aspects through the visual neighborhood of artworks from one hundred years of art history, surprisingly juxtaposed so that they provide a commentary on one another. The exhibition’s title is a play-on-words on the famous dictum of Lautréamont: ‘As beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella’ (1874), which became a defining slogan of the Surrealists, and also anticipated the readymade in linguistic form. In 1959, Duchamp adapted this for the concept of a ‘reciprocal ready-made’: “You take a picture by Rembrandt and, instead of looking at it, simply use it as an ironing-board.”

Dr. Renate Wiehager

Head of the Daimler Art Collection, Stuttgart/Berlin

Tags: Max Ackermann, Josef Albers, Ian Anüll, John M Armleder, Jean Arp, Richard Artschwager, Willi Baumeister, Bill Beckley, Max Bill, Dieter Blum, Greg Bogin, Hartmut Böhm, Andreas Brandt, Daniel Buren, André Cadere, Siegfried Cremer, Gia Edzgveradze, Sergio Fermariello, Roland Fischer, Adolf Fleischmann, Günter Fruhtrunk, Hermann Glöckner, David Goldblatt, Zheng Guogu, Isabell Heimerdinger, Adolf Hoelzel, Bethan Huws, Donald Judd, Tadaaki Kuwayama, Tadaaki Kuwayma, Olivier Mosset, John Nixon, Patrick Fabian Panetta, Esteban Pastorino, Lothar Quinte, Peter Roehr, Ulrike Rosenbach, Tom Sachs, Pietro Sanguineti, Viviane Sassen, Jürgen Schadeberg, Andreas Schmid, Leonhard Schmidt, Anton Stankowski, Elaine Sturtevant, Guy Tillim, Hayley Tompkins, Andy Warhol, Franz West, Renate Wiehager, Christa Winter, Liu Zheng, Heimo Zobernig

Selected Works
Viviane Sassen Black hole #01 (2014)
Alfredo Jaar Other People Think (2012)
Fabian Knecht Isolation (Dead Tree) 2017
Pipilotti Rist Open My Glade (2000)
Ed van der Elsken Beethovenstraat, Amsterdam (1967)