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ENG

15.04 - 15.07

MODUS OPERANDI

Pep Agut

Elena Bajo

Robert Barry

Julien Bismuth

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Angela Bulloch

Alejandro Cesarco

Luis Paulo Costa

Claude Closky

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Hanne Darboven

Alec De Busschère

Alessandro De Francesco

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Walter De Maria

Jan Dibbets

Detanico Lain

Pascal Dombis

Peter Downsbrough

Mark Geffriaud

Aurélie Godard

Isidore Isou

Nicholas Knight

LAb[au]

David Lamelas

Sol LeWitt

Eva & Franco Mattes

Manfred Mohr

Gianni Motti

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Dennis Oppenheim

Casey Reas

Claude Rutault

Roland Sabatier

Peter Scott

Daniel Spœrri & Robert Filliou

Joëlle Tuerlinckx

UBERMORGEN

Oriol Vilanova

Lawrence Weiner

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Erwin Wurm

Co-curatorship: Société

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Gregory Lang

The exhibition Modus Operandi activates a well-known strategy from conceptual art using instructions and explores art by delegation. The artwork imagined by the artist is presented in form of a written or verbal statement to be executed by others. The instructions take form with advised experts such as the curator him or herself and his or her assistant, usually in dialogue with the artist. The instruction can be transmitted through: 'cards' as with the 'event scores' of the artist George Brecht or as in Lucy Lippard's 1969-74 'numbers' exhibition series ; 'Certificates' for Sol Lewitt's 'instructions' or Laurence Weiner's 'statements'; 'definitions / methods' for Claude Rutault; or in form of instructions communicated by telephone as in the mythical 'Art by Telephone' exhibition of 1969 and its recent 'Recalled' versions. Thus the artwork already exists in form of a description, and a collection of instructions makes it possible to constitute an exhibition.

 

Handbag body Daisy Designs Ladies Bag Shoulder amp; Polka Cross Pink Aztec Dot This exhibition by Société explores this dematerialisation of art and their activation around historic and current works. The show further put into perspective a type of conceptual art in connection with algorithmic art, a parallel that took already place in 1970 during the 'Software' exhibition, and as Sol LeWitt explains in Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967) ‘When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art...the artist would select the basic form and rules that would govern the solution of the problem.’
 

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The art by instruction nevertheless approaches the principle of a music score which needs each time a new interpretation. Here the work only exists through its  transmission, its execution and the documentation of its reactivation. But the instructions of conceptual artists deliberately leave room for the subjectivity of the person who realizes the final work. Consequently the process contains several stages, including a dialogue necessary for the interpretation, which tends to an experience close to the format of the workshop and the performance for those who activate it and give it body. This "performative" aspect generates a variation of executions according to each context, since the work is replayed according to its constraints, the actual references and the choices of those who follow them. Even if they literally follow the instructions and are in exchange with the artist, if the principle is fixed, the work varies slightly and gains significance at each iteration.

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