ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts
Extra Bodies
Through Feb 4, 2018 / Migros Museum

Vanessa Beecroft

The exhibition sheds light on a phenomenon in art that first rises to prominence in the 1990s and then explodes in the early years of the new millennium: the artistic practice of resorting to and deploying ‘extra bodies.’ Artists select these ‘other bodies’ because of their specific social or biosocial role—which is why they may also be characterized as extras. All works on view share a basic ‘performative’ or ‘theatrical’ quality.

 

Ai WeiWei / Fairytale Chairs

Ai WeiWei / Fairytale People

Strikingly, the viewer is neither drawn into the action nor invited to participate. Unlike many artistic productions discussed under the rubric of relational aesthetics, these pieces do not demand his active engagement. Taking up both exhibition floors at the museum, the extensive group exhibition featuring numerous works from the collection scrutinizes the various modes in which extras with their social and biosocial roles are presented, and function, in art.

 

Maria Eichhorn / Prohibited Imports

Teresa Margolles

The show assembles major positions making use of ‘other bodies’, though it does not aspire to draw up a comprehensive canon of this thematic field. It eschews the real presence of the ‘other body’ in the gallery, although such presence is a constitutive element in the genesis of the kind of work it examines, instead focusing on the different modes of presentation that allow for a discussion of the phenomenon of the ‘other body’ in contemporary art from a variety of angles.

 

Jens Haaning

Christoph Schlingensief

In most of the works, the human being takes the stage not as an individual but as part of a group or formation, a ‘collective body’. Conspicuously, the growing visibility of the ‘extra body’ in art coincides with the deregulation of markets in the early 1990s. The defining feature of this development is that human labor, thanks to a global expansion, becomes ever more inexpensive — a phenomenon Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello have portrayed as the “New Spirit of Capitalism”. Maurizio Lazzarato has trenchantly pinpointed their basic hypothesis, noting that life, in today’s economy, has become a currency.

 

Yoshua Okón / Freedom Fries

Studio Jonas Staal and Democratic Self-Administration

The extensive group exhibition is on view of both gallery floors at the museum and includes several pieces from the collection. The majority of the works on the ground floor were created in the first decade of the twenty-first century; this section is rounded out by selected examples of historic art. The upstairs gallery is reserved for three artistic positions (Jonas Staal, Guy Ben-Ner, and Artur Żmijewski) that reflect on the theme of the ‘other body’ in light of the contemporary situation. Created over the course of the past year, these works address the migrant body, which, as Mark Terkessidis has argued, may be regarded as “Westerners’ unloved ‘shadow ego’: globally oriented, mobile, flexible, willing to make sacrifices.” No other ‘extra body’ has figured more prominently in the social and political debates of the past few years. The role it plays can be read in the mirror of socioeconomic changes and is integral to the discursive field around biopolitics, globalization, and neoliberalism.

 

Stephen Willats / A Difficult Boy in a Concrete Block

Santiago Sierra

Exhibiting artists: Vanessa Beecroft, Guy Ben-Ner, Oscar Bony, Christoph Büchel, Clegg & Guttmann, Gino de Dominicis, Maria Eichhorn, Jens Haaning, Yves Klein, Yoshua Okón, Yuri Pattison, L.A. Raeven, Edwin Sánchez, Christoph Schlingensief, Santiago Sierra, Jonas Staal, Teresa Margolles, Ai Weiwei, Stephen Willats, Carey Young, and Artur Żmijewski.

The companion book Extra Bodies — Über den Einsatz des ‘anderen Körpers’ in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, in German, is due out on JRP/Ringier this month.

 

Extra Bodies / The Use of the ‹Other Body› in Contemporary Art
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst / Zurich
Through February 4, 2018
For more information please visit the exhibition page >

Recent Articles
Hi There / Esther Hunziker
Through Apr 2, 2018 / Kunsthaus Baselland
In the age of digitalisation Hunziker comes decisively to terms with how…
In the age of digitalisation Hunziker comes decisively to terms with how reality and fiction intermingle, how identities…
ARTPIL / Prescription .032
The Week in Review
Conflict rises in Israel/Gaza; Ramaphosa made President of South Africa; The U.S….
Conflict rises in Israel/Gaza; Ramaphosa made President of South Africa; The U.S. faced another tragic school shooting while…
New Strategies in Painting
complete survey of Albert Oehlen / Taschen
The paintings of Oehlen live by audacious strategies, by questioning the image…
The paintings of Oehlen live by audacious strategies, by questioning the image and the rules of abstraction, and…
Design Awards 2018 / Wallpaper*
Announcing the 2018 winners
The wait is over. Glittering gongs have been pinned on the past…
The wait is over. Glittering gongs have been pinned on the past year’s world rockingest people, places, and…
Unnecessary Alcove / Shreyas Karle
Through Mar 3, 2018 / Project 88
“The objects in themselves as the residue of the scratched surfaces hold…
“The objects in themselves as the residue of the scratched surfaces hold no entity if they do not…
The Armory Show / 24th Edition
March 8–11, 2018 / New York
The Armory Show, New York’s premier art fair and a leading destination…
The Armory Show, New York’s premier art fair and a leading destination for discovering and collecting art presents…
Something Resembling Truth / Jasper Johns
Through May 13, 2018 / The Broad
Organized with the Royal Academy in London, this exhibit with loans from…
Organized with the Royal Academy in London, this exhibit with loans from numerous collections features over 120 of…
ARCO Madrid / 2018
37th Edition / Feb 21-26, 2018
ARCO Madrid is back for the 37Th International Contemporary Art Show bringing…
ARCO Madrid is back for the 37Th International Contemporary Art Show bringing together over 200 galleries from 29…
Extra Bodies
Through Feb 4, 2018 / Migros Museum

Vanessa Beecroft

The exhibition sheds light on a phenomenon in art that first rises to prominence in the 1990s and then explodes in the early years of the new millennium: the artistic practice of resorting to and deploying ‘extra bodies.’ Artists select these ‘other bodies’ because of their specific social or biosocial role—which is why they may also be characterized as extras. All works on view share a basic ‘performative’ or ‘theatrical’ quality.

 

Ai WeiWei / Fairytale Chairs

Ai WeiWei / Fairytale People

Strikingly, the viewer is neither drawn into the action nor invited to participate. Unlike many artistic productions discussed under the rubric of relational aesthetics, these pieces do not demand his active engagement. Taking up both exhibition floors at the museum, the extensive group exhibition featuring numerous works from the collection scrutinizes the various modes in which extras with their social and biosocial roles are presented, and function, in art.

 

Maria Eichhorn / Prohibited Imports

Teresa Margolles

The show assembles major positions making use of ‘other bodies’, though it does not aspire to draw up a comprehensive canon of this thematic field. It eschews the real presence of the ‘other body’ in the gallery, although such presence is a constitutive element in the genesis of the kind of work it examines, instead focusing on the different modes of presentation that allow for a discussion of the phenomenon of the ‘other body’ in contemporary art from a variety of angles.

 

Jens Haaning

Christoph Schlingensief

In most of the works, the human being takes the stage not as an individual but as part of a group or formation, a ‘collective body’. Conspicuously, the growing visibility of the ‘extra body’ in art coincides with the deregulation of markets in the early 1990s. The defining feature of this development is that human labor, thanks to a global expansion, becomes ever more inexpensive — a phenomenon Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello have portrayed as the “New Spirit of Capitalism”. Maurizio Lazzarato has trenchantly pinpointed their basic hypothesis, noting that life, in today’s economy, has become a currency.

 

Yoshua Okón / Freedom Fries

Studio Jonas Staal and Democratic Self-Administration

The extensive group exhibition is on view of both gallery floors at the museum and includes several pieces from the collection. The majority of the works on the ground floor were created in the first decade of the twenty-first century; this section is rounded out by selected examples of historic art. The upstairs gallery is reserved for three artistic positions (Jonas Staal, Guy Ben-Ner, and Artur Żmijewski) that reflect on the theme of the ‘other body’ in light of the contemporary situation. Created over the course of the past year, these works address the migrant body, which, as Mark Terkessidis has argued, may be regarded as “Westerners’ unloved ‘shadow ego’: globally oriented, mobile, flexible, willing to make sacrifices.” No other ‘extra body’ has figured more prominently in the social and political debates of the past few years. The role it plays can be read in the mirror of socioeconomic changes and is integral to the discursive field around biopolitics, globalization, and neoliberalism.

 

Stephen Willats / A Difficult Boy in a Concrete Block

Santiago Sierra

Exhibiting artists: Vanessa Beecroft, Guy Ben-Ner, Oscar Bony, Christoph Büchel, Clegg & Guttmann, Gino de Dominicis, Maria Eichhorn, Jens Haaning, Yves Klein, Yoshua Okón, Yuri Pattison, L.A. Raeven, Edwin Sánchez, Christoph Schlingensief, Santiago Sierra, Jonas Staal, Teresa Margolles, Ai Weiwei, Stephen Willats, Carey Young, and Artur Żmijewski.

The companion book Extra Bodies — Über den Einsatz des ‘anderen Körpers’ in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, in German, is due out on JRP/Ringier this month.

 

Extra Bodies / The Use of the ‹Other Body› in Contemporary Art
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst / Zurich
Through February 4, 2018
For more information please visit the exhibition page >