Extra Bodies
Nov 18, 2017 – Feb 4, 2018

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
November 18, 2017 – February 4, 2018
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst / Zurich
Please visit the exhibition page >

Photo London Digital
October 7–18, 2020
Photo London presents Photo London Digital, this year's fair taking place online with the its digital partner, Artsy, through...
+
Beyond the Land of Castles
Unwanted, Forgotten, Promised land
I re-discover parts of my cultural heritage, portraying the different facets of the life of mountain villages in between...
+
HER
Oct 8 – Dec 8, 2020
In Frame Gallery presents the works of Ramona Deckers, Tiffany Roubert, and Lena Jeanne, exploring the different approaches and...
+
I Can Make You Feel Good
Tyler Mitchell
This exhibition comes at a critical time in our culture when so many are challenging pre-existing representations and taking...
+
Companion Pieces: New Photography 2020
Online / Ongoing
Since the first New Photography exhibition at MoMA in 1985, the series has introduced the work of nearly 150...
+
Hilma af Klint / Artist, Researcher, Medium
Apr 4, 2020 – Feb 21, 2021
Af Klint was a pioneer of abstraction. Early on she developed a rich, symbolic imagery that preceded the broadly...
+
I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating
Alec Soth
This exhibition comprised of large scale portraits and interiors focuses on Soth’s depiction of the individual, posing questions about...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .116
Spiritus Mundi
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre the falcon cannot hear the falconer; Thing fall apart; The center cannot...
+
Photo London Digital
October 7–18, 2020
Photo London presents Photo London Digital, this year's fair taking place online with the its digital partner, Artsy, through...
+
Beyond the Land of Castles
Unwanted, Forgotten, Promised land
I re-discover parts of my cultural heritage, portraying the different facets of the life of mountain villages in between...
+
HER
Oct 8 – Dec 8, 2020
In Frame Gallery presents the works of Ramona Deckers, Tiffany Roubert, and Lena Jeanne, exploring the different approaches and...
+
I Can Make You Feel Good
Tyler Mitchell
This exhibition comes at a critical time in our culture when so many are challenging pre-existing representations and taking...
+
Companion Pieces: New Photography 2020
Online / Ongoing
Since the first New Photography exhibition at MoMA in 1985, the series has introduced the work of nearly 150...
+
Hilma af Klint / Artist, Researcher, Medium
Apr 4, 2020 – Feb 21, 2021
Af Klint was a pioneer of abstraction. Early on she developed a rich, symbolic imagery that preceded the broadly...
+
I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating
Alec Soth
This exhibition comprised of large scale portraits and interiors focuses on Soth’s depiction of the individual, posing questions about...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .116
Spiritus Mundi
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre the falcon cannot hear the falconer; Thing fall apart; The center cannot...
+