2014–2015 Kunsthalle wien Exhibition
Blue Times is a group exhibition featuring more than 30 international artists who present positions dealing with the uses and meanings of the colour blue in different eras and contexts. Through investigating the specific iconology of the colour blue, the exhibition sets forth transversal ways of approaching the world of art, of images and of representations: How can we use a colour as a way of seeing, as a way of understanding our socio-political histories?
In the West, the omnipresence of blue in the domain of public design and private comfort is rooted in its psychological reception: the European eye apparently considers it to be the most pleasant colour. Hence, blue is both the perfect instrument to control minds and bodies and a tool to trace gender, class and political belongings. Blue is the anti-communist colour par excellence. Blue was also chosen as the colour of the European Union, selected to symbolise unity in difference, as well as the capacity to unite in consensus. Therefore, colour is first and foremost a social matter, a range of codes and values that are marked historically and geographically. Through colour, taboos and prejudices circulate and influence us, our environment, our language and our imaginary.
The exhibition presents two positions: one that mirrors the overwhelming character of blue, and the other, correlated position, investigates its socio-political function as it shifted towards a certain conformist politics of representation.
For British artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman, blue is a filter in absentia: touched by the HIV virus, he was not able to see the colour blue anymore. He dedicated pop odes to the colour, particularly in the eponymous film Blue, his most personal and innovative film, consisting of a monochrome blue image accompanied by a compelling soundtrack, a lyrical combination of classical theory, anecdote and poetry. Of course, French artist Yves Klein’s famous International Klein Blue (IKB), which shifted the discourses of the authenticity of the pure idea and the validation of art as creation, will be an eye-catching part of the exhibition, displayed on a long mural by British artist Liam Gillick. The mural features a repeated and interlaced form derived from the ancient Greek pattern meander, in blue and white. Liam Gillick is not interested in colour and form as such but as legacies of abstraction, as relics of modernist art theory and claims for universality. Colour is here deployed in relation to form to demonstrate the futility of these ideas, while at the same time clearly falling victim to them.
A “Blue Chip” is the highest-value poker chip, carrying with it a sense of top- drawer pleasure and risk. In his work Blue Chip, the New Zealand artist Billy Apple extrapolates this value status to the worlds of high finance and commercial high art. The blue plinth included in the work does not support anything but only bears the words “blue chip” – branded like an advertisement, he lets the art-value machinery run on empty, potentially ad infinitum.
Most often, American artist Lawrence Weiner’s composed texts describe physical instructions, processes, structures and materials. However, the in-situ piece Out of the Blue plays with the immaterial dimension of the colour blue as well as its presence in or infiltration into our idiomatic language to convey mood and emotions, and can be read as an ironic comment on the whole exhibition endeavour.
In a more literal way, EU (2011–2014) by Dutch artist Remco Torenbosch features utterances of different blue shades that circulate in the monolithic European Union, presumably symbolising alliance. The diverse shades are meant to subtly evoke the discrepancy between a fictionalised unified Europe and its cracking political reality, and the work culminates with an idea of a utopic European Union.
Under the title China (2012), Lebanese artist Raed Yassin exhibits a series of seven porcelain vases investigating Lebanon’s struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of its civil war, a struggle marked by uneasy amnesia. With important historical events of Lebanese contemporary history frozen on Chinese blue porcelain vases, the work becomes part-beautiful object, part-historical document and part-mass-produced product.
Next to the artworks, the exhibition presents a curated selection of pop-cultural artefacts, commodities, merchandising products, as well as a selection of reproductions within the dedicated Blue Salon room. Through this wide-ranging collection, the perception and use of blue is investigated from different angles, disciplines and perspectives, from the artistic to the corporate, from its past to its future fate.
Readings, Talks and Performances accompanying the exhibition can be viewed online, with contributions by Saâdane Afif, Schneller Angereichert, Thomas Meinecke and more.
Curators: Amira Gad (Guest Curator for Blue Times, Exhibitions Curator at Serpentine Galleries, London), Nicolaus Schafhausen (Kunsthalle Wien)
Participating artists (amongst others): Saâdane Afif, Billy Apple, Nadia Belerique, Irma Blank, Edith Dekyndt, Simon Denny, Sylvie Fleury, Peter Friedl, Ryan Gander, Liam Gillick, Derek Jarman, Toril Johannessen, Chris Kabel, Tobias Kaspar, Yves Klein, Walt Kuhn, Edgar Leciejewski, Goshka Macuga, Jonathan Monk, Alex Morrison, Otto Neurath, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Prinz Gholam, Walid Raad, Mark Raidpere, De Rijke / De Rooij, Willem de Rooij, Pamela Rosenkranz, Julia Scher, Société Réaliste, Michael Staniak, Hito Steyerl, Derek Sullivan, Walter Swennen, Remco Torenbosch, Lidwien van de Ven, Lawrence Weiner, Raed Yassin.
NO MATCHING PROJECTS
Tanea Hynes & Ethan Murphy. The Shape of Desire 2022 EXHIBITION
Tell me about yesterday tomorrow. A Book about the Future of the Past 2021 PUBLICATION
Curating contemporary art against the backdrop of a local context 2019 TEACHING
Heinz Frank. The Angle of the End Always Comes from Behind 2019 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2018: Ting-Jung Chen & Hui Ye. Keep Me Close To You 2018–2019 EXHIBITION
Olaf Nicolai. There Is No Place Before Arrival 2018 EXHIBITION
Ieva Epnere. On water, wind and faces of stone 2018 EXHIBITION
Guy Mees. The Weather is Quiet, Cool, and Soft 2018 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2017: Marlene Maier & Olena Newkryta: Everything a Hand Can't Take 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Florian Hecker. Hallucination, Perspective, Synthesis 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Publishing as an Artistic Toolbox: 1989-2017 2017–2018 EXHIBITION
Marlene Creates. To the Blast Hole Pond River 2017 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Beweis zu nichts / Proof of Nothing 2017 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Beweis zu nichts / Proof of Nothing 2018 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Margit Busch, Andrej Polukord 2016–2017 EXHIBITION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Margit Busch. IF—THEN—ELSE. Welcome to Transciency 2016 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2016: Andrej Polukord. The Sarcophagus 2016 PUBLICATION
Nathalie Du Pasquier. BIG OBJECTS NOT ALWAYS SILENT 2016 EXHIBITION
Wilfrid Almendra. Light Boiled Like Liquid Soap 2016 EXHIBITION
Wilfrid Almendra. Light Boiled like Liquid Soap 2019 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Karina Mendreczky, Anastasiya Yarovenko 2015–2016 Exhibition
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Karina Mendreczky 2016 PUBLICATION
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2015: Anastasiya Yarovenko 2016 PUBLICATION
Charlemagne Palestine. GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandtttt 2015 Exhibition
Charlemagne Palestine. GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandttttt 2016 PUBLICATION
Individual Stories. Collecting as Portrait and Methodology 2015 Exhibition
Individual Stories. Collecting as Portrait and Methodology 2016 PUBLICATION
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz. Future Light 2015 Exhibition
Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality 2015 Exhibition
Flaka Haliti. Kosovo Pavilion for the 58th Biennial 2015 EXHIBITION
Pierre Bismuth. The Curator, the Lawyer and the Psychoanalyst 2015 Exhibition
Pierre Bismuth. Things I Remember I Have Done, But Don’t Remember Why I Did Them 2017 PUBLICATION
Tony Conrad. Two Degrees of Separation / Über zwei Ecken 2015 PUBLICATION
Gareth Long & Melton Barker. Kidnappers Foil 2014–2015 Exhibition
Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2014: Leander Schönweger. The Fog Disperses 2014 Exhibition
Leander Schönweger. Die Nebel lichten sich 2014 PUBLICATION
Hannah Rickards. Grey light. Left and right back, high up, two small windows 2014–2015 EXHIBITION
Isa Genzken. I’m Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool 2014 Exhibition
Isa Genzken. I’m Isa Genzken, the Only Female Fool 2014 PUBLICATION
Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys. Das Wunder des Lebens (The Miracle of Life) 2014 Exhibition
Zin Taylor. The Story of Stripes and Dots 2013–2014 EXHIBITION
Zin Taylor. Lichen Voices/Stripes and Dots 2013 PUBLICATION
WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do Festival 2013 EVENT
Act I: Beautiful from Every Point of View 2009–2010 EXHIBITION
John Kormeling. Dutch Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 2010 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. German Pavilion 53. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte La Biennale di Venezia 2009 2009 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. How are you going to behave? A kitchen cat speaks 2009 PUBLICATION
William Hunt. Tempting Fate, Swimming Alone 2008 EXHIBITION
Liam Gillick. Three perspectives and a short scenario 2008 EXHIBITION
Isa Genzken. Deutscher Pavillon 52. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte La Biennale di Venezia 2009 2007 EXHIBITION
Die Frage des Tages / The Question of the Day 2007 PUBLICATION
Michael Beutler. nicht innen sondern außen – nicht drinnen, sondern draußen 2004–2005 EXHIBITION
Ars Viva 03/04. Film: Jeanne Faust and Omar Fast 2004 EXHIBITION
Adorno: The Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. II) 2003 PUBLICATION
Adorno: The Possibility of the Impossible (Vol. I) 2003 PUBLICATION
Gerard Byrne. Books, Magazines, and Newspapers 2003 PUBLICATION
Alex Morrison. Giving the Story a Treatment 2005 PUBLICATION
Stephen Prina: An Evening of 19th- and 20th- Century 2003 EXHIBITION
Marcel Odenbach. Even If The Driver May Be Different, The Truck Still Remains The Same 2002 EXHIBITION
Husain / Richter / Jensen. Lavawoche – Krustenwoche 2001 EXHIBITION
Christa Näher. Das Malwerk und das Schöne 2000–2001 EXHIBITION
Tulipomania Dotcom: A Critique of the New Economy 2000 EVENT
Stephen Prina. To the People of the City of Frankfurt 2000 EXHIBITION
Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij. After the Hunt 2000 PUBLICATION
Man muss ganz schön viel lernen um hier zu funktionieren 2000 EXHIBITION
Dorothea von Hantelmann. Der andere Schauplatz 1999 EVENT
Benutzeroberfläche Stadt. Performanzen für den Frankfurter Kunstverein 1999 EVENT