Measuring the World – Heterotopias and Knoledge Spaces in Art

Ai Weiwei, "Map of China", Sigg Collection,
photo via

June, 10 – September, 4, 2011
Kunsthaus Graz

The Kunsthaus Graz hosts this interesting exhibition with many works from the late 1960s to today. It explores questions both of ancestral memory and artistic concern. Museums, like all exhibitions with the things they contain, set themselves up as pared-down portrayals of the world, becoming catalysers of a possible understanding and revelator of abstract realities. If it is possible an artistic measurement of the world this exhibition provides a wide answer with the works of very interesting artists. In every case it seems clear to the curators themselves that each answer is never closed and we don’t have any prefabricated code in order to measure our world. Images are views of the world whose specific structure generates, produces and renders visible a view of the world. Works of art that produce ordering systems or develop systematic structures generate an ordered image of the world. It is in this sense that the exhibition looks at the way contemporary art designs ordering systems and focuses on the act of measuring.

This mapping process acts as a symbol and the mirror of the human brain structure, with the analytical aim of discovering a single higher-level structure of knowledge. This makes the question of a difference between scientific and artistic systematization of knowledge the implicit theme of the exhibition, in that artistic systematization endeavour chiefly to facilitate an aesthetic experience of ordering interconnections where on the one hand the world as it appears to artists in their work can be better understood and interpreted, and on the other hand the self, which is part of the world, acquires important aspects of its personal, social and cultural identity.

Participating artists: Franz Ackermann, Ai Weiwei, Stefan Arztmann, Alighiero e Boetti, Marcel Broodthaers, Wolfgang Buchner, Clegg & Guttmann, Hanne Darboven, Mark Dion, Charles & Ray Eames, Stephan Huber, Peter Kogler, Ulrike Königshofer, Joseph Kosuth, Zoe Leonard, Sharon Lockhart, Constantin Luser, Vera Lutter, Tobias Madison, Helen Mirra, Matt Mullican, Vik Muniz, Rivane Neuenschwander, Gabriel Orozco, Nam June Paik, Grayson Perry, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Dieter Roth, Daniel Spoerri, Simon Starling, Ernst Strouhal, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Superflex, Sofie Thorsen, Corinne Wasmuht, Christopher Williams, Manfred Willmann, Terry Winters, Heimo Zobernig, zweintopf