Soleil politique
The museum between light and shadow

Marta Minujín, El obelisco acostado, 1978, 1st Latin American Biennial of São Paulo, Courtesy of the artist

27/09/14 – 11/01/2015

Curated by Pierre Bal-Blanc.

The exhibition Soleil politique invites the visitor to follow an itinerary that begins, immediately upon entering the Museion, at the very heart of the works on exhibit, before extending out into the city. The first curatorial decision consists of overturning the hierarchy that traditionally separates the reception area from the lofty content beyond, the former at the ground floor of the building, the latter above.

This spatial undertaking seeks to expand the use of the museum’s interior to include its architecture as an integral part of the exhibition experience. Employing space in this way contrasts with the rules upheld by the traditional art museum or places of worship that prepare access to their contents in successive stages.

The fourth and last floor of the museum, transformed into a belvedere, offers a panoramic view of the city that can be contemplated with reference points from the exhibition in mind. From here, the visit continues in the city itself, throughout its streets, avenues and bridges, and in a number of the city’s buildings that form an integral part of the exhibition.

Soleil politique thus examines the role of the museum in the urban environment by looking back at the Museion’s history and mission from the perspective of artists in all disciplines: architects, filmmakers, performers, musicians, composers, etc. The exhibition includes models, sculptures, short films, documents and other medium, from major and well-known artists, along with the participation of lesser-known artistic practices.

These are joined by a number of major historical works that have inspired the exhibition throughout its conception and helped our understanding of museographic history: Pier Paolo Pasolini’s La forma della città, Carlo Scarpa’s exhibition of the equestrian statue of Cangrande della Scala at the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s ‘Untitled’ (Portrait of the Cincinnati Art Museum), Sturtevant’s Nude Descending a Staircase, Philippe Thomas’s work referred to as CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, or Marta Minujín’s Obelisco acostado (Reclining Obelisk), to name but a few.

The exhibition is the result of numerous visits by its curator, Pierre Bal-Blanc, to the Alto Adige Valley/South Tyrol, during a period of over two years. Artists and architects from the surrounding region who share a common interest in questioning modernist dogma, otherwise bound by a vertical and blind abstraction, convey the resulting research through presence of their works. Rather than aim at the light, above and beyond the street and the urban environment, these works reconsider the earth: they deploy shadows in order to offer a viewpoint for which the exhibition Soleil politique becomes the horizon.

Artists: Mathieu Abonnenc, Silvano Agosti, Marie Cool/Fabio Balducci, Josef Dabernig, Alberto Garutti, Marcus Geiger, Isa Genzken, Prinz Gholam, Dan Graham, Mauricio Guillén, Sanja Iveković, Benoît Maire, Marcello Maloberti, Marianne Maric, Rä di Martino, Mattin, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Marta Minujín, Deimantas Narkevicius, Rainer Oldendorf, Roman Ondák, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Emilie Parendeau, Gianni Pettena, Pratchaya Phinthong, Emilio Prini, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, R&Sie(n) François Roche – Stephanie Lavaux – Jean Navarro, Bernhard Rüdiger, Matthieu Saladin, Santiago Sierra, Terre Thaemlitz, Slaven Tolj, Ron Tran, Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet, Marie Voignier, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Lois Weinberger, and Lawrence Weiner.
Including works by Raimund Abraham, Robert Breer, KP Brehmer, Marcel Broodthaers, CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux – Philippe Thomas, Achille Castiglioni, Giorgio De Chirico, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Walter Pichler, Carlo Scarpa, Allan Sekula, and Sturtevant.

A trilingual catalogue (English/German/Italian) will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.


On the web

A set of images on our facebook page



Image: Marta Minujín, El obelisco acostado, 1978, 1st Latin American Biennial of São Paulo, Courtesy of the artist