Pool 9: Untimely Topical, Gustav Metzger 

Keywords: activist art, actuality, creation/destruction, extinction, non-simultaneity, time complex
Nummer und TypMAF-MAF-Po00.19H.009 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungLaura von Niederhäusern, Mathieu Copeland
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 12
ECTS3 Credits
VoraussetzungenCourse language: English
ZielgruppenMFA students
Lernziele / KompetenzenThe aim of the seminar is to reflect, to deepen and to put in practical use the experiences and findings of the Gustav Metzger symposium, which takes place from 10 to 12 October 2019 (the week before the pool seminar), in regard of one’s own artistic strategies: how do you situate yourself within and/or against the present times? Gustav Metzger’s positions and propositions will be explored and put in perspective: What can be learned by the untimeliness and topicality of his activist art? How did he go against the current and challenge actuality? What artistic strategies and positions can we develop today to face the unbearable of present times?
InhalteThis pool seminar is a follow-up to deepen the topics raised at the Gustav Metzger symposium, which takes place from 10 to 12 October 2019 (the week before the pool seminar). Invited artists, critics, curators and scholars at the Gustav Metzger symposium are Kristine Stiles, Jonathan Benthal, Norman Rosenthal, Hans Ulrich Obrist, among others.

“Do you eat? (…) Do you plan to affect society at some time in your future? If so, will it be in the fields of the arts?” These are some of the questions Gustav Metzger asks in one of his leaflets published in 1970. Starting with drawing and painting in the early 1950’s, Metzger’s work evolved in multiple pioneer practices such as auto-destructive paintings and monuments, manifestos, newspaper and found object shows, cybernetic drawings, historic photograph installations, mobilizing modes of demonstration, bodily implication and provoking radicality.

The pool seminar “Untimely Topical, Gustav Metzger” addresses different issues of the artist’s relation to his/her present times: facing history, sensing threats and experimenting actions. Linked to the public symposium around Gustav Metzger’s life and work, the seminar will give the opportunity to elaborate on some of Metzger’s concerns (extinction, environmental degradation, technological development) from the presented materials, manifestos and art works and debate its relevance today.

Further, the seminar will discuss a set of concepts from art history and critical theory to enable, foster and sharpen one’s own stance on how to deal as artist with present troubling times. To conclude with Gustav Metzger’s final text:

About the teachers:

Artist-researcher Laura von Niederhäusern develops narrative inquiry methods by means of film and writing to explore time relations which are haunting life under the imperative of permanent performance and acceleration. She studied critical theory and fine arts at HEAD Geneva, where she subsequently worked between 2009-2015 as a research assistant and faculty member of the CCC Research-based Master Program. She is currently PhD candidate at the DKM/ZHdK cooperation program with the Art University Linz.

Mathieu Copeland (born 1977, lives in London) has been developing a practice seeking to subvert the traditional role of exhibitions and to renew our perceptions of these. A freelance independent curator, he co-curated the exhibition “VOIDS, A Retrospective” at the Centre Pompidou—Paris and the Kunsthalle—Bern, and edited the celebrated anthology VOIDS. Among many others, he curated “A Choreographed Exhibition” at the Kunsthalle St Gallen & La Ferme du Buisson (2007), “Soundtrack for an Exhibition” (2006), “Alan Vega” (2009) and “Gustav Metzger” (2013) at the Musee d’Art Contemporain—Lyon or again “A Mental Mandala” at MUAC—Mexico City (2013). Recent exhibitions include “A Retrospective of Closed Exhibitions” at the Kunsthalle Fribourg (2016) and “The Exhibition of a Dream” at the Gulbenkian Foundation (2017). He realized in 2014 “The exhibition of a film” – an exhibition as a feature film for cinemas. Copeland edited the critically acclaimed anthology and manifest publication “Choreographing Exhibitions.” In 2017, he co-edited the radical anthology “The Anti-Museum”. His forthcoming publications include “Gustav Metzger: Writings: 1953–2016.”
Bibliographie / Literatur
  • “Gustav Metzger: Writings: 1953–2016,” JRP – Edition, September 2019
  • “Auto-creative Art – Gustav Metzger,” edited by Mathieu Copeland. Texts by Gustav Metzger, Thierry Raspail, Mathieu Copeland, Franck Popper. Published in November 2013, bilingual edition (English / French) 17 x 22 cm (softcover) 80 pages (color & b/w ill.), Les Presses du Réel
  • Preface by Pamela M. Lee, in: Chronophobia, Pamela M. Lee, MIT Press, Cambridge, p. xi-xxv
  • “The Speculative Time Complex” by Armen Avanessian, Suhail Malik, in: The Time Complex, Post-Contemporary, Avanessian & Malik (eds), Name publications, 2016, p.7-56
  • The Anti-Museum, edited by Mathieu Copeland & Balthazar Lovay, published by Koenig Books, 2017
Leistungsnachweis / Testatanforderung
  • Min. 80 % attendance time
  • Preparation (readings)
  • Active participation during the symposium and the pool seminar
Symposium: October 10th + 11th (5–9pm), October 12th (3–9pm)
In case you are not able to attend the entire symposium directly, you are committed to catch up the missed contributions by online streaming on Sunday, October 13th.
TermineTime: 10:00 - 18:00 o'clock

14 / 15 / 16 October
Bewertungsformbestanden / nicht bestanden
Termine (3)