Throughout the last century, the traditional  model of an art exhibition has been repeatedly critiqued: its limitations and inflexibility tested  by artists. During the1960s and ‘70s, during a  period of sustained political and social  turbulence, many artists sought “art beyond art” for instance, by  working in places that  were inaccessible to  the audience, changing their profession and putting their  skills  to  test in other areas of life (e.g. in social work), or by  working  towards the dematerialization of an artwork. In the texts from the late 1960s Robert Smithson suggested that a stroll through a museum was a journey from “one void to another.” All that lies in wait for the viewer is anachronisms in the form of sculptures and pictures, which pretend to be “windows” to another, parallel reality. Smithson postulated leaving a few of the better-designed museums as sculptures, vacated of all their works of art. At the same time, he was excited by the thought that, at any moment, the whole world might turn into a museum. The supermarkets going bankrupt, the garbage dumps, the abandoned islands, the military bases, the nuclear test sites, the gas stations, billboards etc.—all of these could be regarded as works of art. This is the world becoming exhibition.

The exhibition From A to B. From B to C. And from C to A, the long way round, via Z is aimed at critical analysis of the “ABC” of an art exhibition, based on a  set of rules and components used for the organization (and the  discipline) of the relationship between an artwork, its author, the institution in which the  artworks are displayed, and the spectator. How much can be “subtracted” from an exhibition while still regarding it as an exhibition? The participants scrutinize such aspects of exhibition making as: objecthood (Aidan Celeste), dialectic tension between site and non-site (Anna Ehrenstein), white cube neutrality (Sergio Muscat), dematerialisation of an artwork (Greta Muscat Azzopardi), and its displacement (Foleyami Wilson).

 

From A to B. From B to C. And from C to A, the long way round, via Z.

by Sebastian Cichocki

with Aidan Celeste, Anna Ehrenstein, Sergio Muscat, Greta Muscat Azzopardi, Foleyami Wilson