The Imaginary Museum
14 Jul - 09 Sep 2012
Becky Beasley, Eric Bell & Kristoffer Frick, Oliver Laric, Mark Leckey, Simon Martin and Ed Atkins, James Richards, Jimmy Robert, Sean Snyder
'The Imaginary Museum' brings together a contemporary group of visual artists with a site-specific installation of Antique plaster casts. The display of the statues reconstructs an installation shot taken in 1932 in the current Kunstverein spaces – then used by Munich’s Museum für Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke (Museum of Casts of Classical Sculpture). Probably unintentionally, the photographer joined two forms of reproduction – casting and photography – that were difficult to combine in the context of the Modernist program of the 20th century. The anachronistic reputation of these collections, together with the ‘worthlessness’ of their material, has marginalised the plaster copy from critical thinking.
In his text The Imaginary Museum of Plaster Casts, published specially to accompany the exhibition, art historian Sven Lütticken revaluates plaster cast collections and their influence on the activities of contemporary artists vis-à-vis the referencing and reproduction of visual sources.
'The Imaginary Museum' takes this text as its cue in order to examine the relevance of plaster cast collections within a contemporary context of art production.