Exercises in timeliness
Dieter Roelstraete talks with Goshka Macuga

  • Exercises in timeliness

The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw is happy to invite you to the next meeting of the “Exercises in Timeliness” series where we pose a question of how to define contemporary art as compared to modern art.

Where does the first, and where does the latter begin? What attitudes do both of them combine? Can works created nowadays be non-contemporary? How to write a history of contemporary art?

In their conversation, Goshka Macuga and Dieter Roelstraete will talk about Macuga’s practice that interweaves two strands that have helped define contemporary art in the last decade: artists’ increasing tendency toward historical and archival research and their growing interest in strategies of display and the dialogue between artistic and curatorial practice. What would that “practically” mean? How does the “archeology of culture” work as a method or the strategy in the artistic practice?

Goshka Macuga and Dieter Roelstraete will consider the question of contemporaneity and art's relationship to past, present and future, departing from examples taken from their respective practices—most notably Macuga's "The Letter", now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and Roelstraete's recently opened "The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology", currently on view at the MCA Chicago.

Goshka Macuga

Born 1967, Warsaw, has lived and worked in London for many years, and was nominated in 2008 for a Turner Prize—the most prestigious award in British art. She uses a method described as cultural archaeology: each of her projects is preceded by in-depth archival and historical research, which allows her to reveal the broader context of the phenomena in question. She creates installations which include works by other artists, archive materials, and ready-mades, as well as her own objects, and thus she combines the roles of artist and curator.

Dieter Roelstraete

Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where he recently organized "Goshka Macuga: Exhibit, A," and "The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology" (2013). From 2003 until 2011, he was a curator at the Antwerp Museum of Contemporary Art (MuHKA), where he organized large-scale group exhibitions as well as monographic shows, including "Emotion Pictures" (2005); "Intertidal", a survey show of contemporary art from Vancouver (2005); "The Order of Things" (2008); "Liam Gillick and Lawrence Weiner: A Syntax of Dependency" (2011); "A Rua: The Spirit of Rio de Janeiro" (2011); "Chantal Akerman: Too Close, Too Far" (2012) and the collaborative projects "Academy: Learning from Art" (2006), "All That Is Solid Melts Into Air" (2009), and "Kerry James Marshall: Paintings and Other Stuff" (2013). In 2005, Roelstraete co-curated "Honoré d’O: The Quest" in the Belgian pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale. A former editor of Afterall and co-founder of the journal F.R. David, Roelstraete has published extensively on contemporary art and related philosophical issues in numerous catalogues and journals including Artforum, e-flux journal, Frieze, Metropolis M, Mousse Magazine, and Texte zur Kunst. In 2010, his book, "Richard Long: A Line Made By Walking", was published by Afterall Books/The MIT Press, and in 2012 a selection of annotated poems was published by Roma Publications.

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