Xu Zhen „Forbidden Castle“

                                        Museum Montanelli 7. Juni bis 22. Juli 2012

“Forbidden Castle” presents a selection of work by Xu Zhen, one of the most radical and humorous artists working in China today. The exhibition will include installation-sculptures, video-films and photography. The works pre-date the founding of Xu Zhen’s MadeIn Company in 2009, after which he ceased to produce work under his own name.

MuMo present the last work Xu Zhen made under his own name “Untitled”, a house-of-cards made of over 160,000 custom playing cards in the form of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the castle-like former residence of the god-king, the Dalai Lama.

The Museum Montanelli lays below Prague Castle, the largest castle in the world and since centuries the seat of the powerful. The function and location remind us of the Potala Palace. For us, this analogy was the trigger to bring to Prague the unique artwork “Untitled”.

Other important works to be shown include the video “Rainbow”, first exhibited at the Venice Biennale. Xu Zhen started out making videos that focused on the body and public space in a manner reminiscent of early Bruce Nauman or Vito Acconci: The video „Rainbow” (1998) shows a growing increasingly red, the result of slaps heard on the sound track but never seen.

In August 2005, Xu Zhen together with his team climbed the 8848.13 meters high Everest. They succeed in cutting the hilltop and take it down from the mountain. His video „8.848-1.86” (2005) documents an expedition to Mount Everest. Here, Xu Zhen removed 1.86 meters of the mountain’s peak and transported it home to be exhibited in a large display cabinet. The video, among other allusions, is a subtle and humorous commentary on China’s policy of expansion.

„It“ shows the famous footprint of the first step of Neil Armstrong on the moon on a sand corn. Xu Zhen created with this „great step for mankind“ the almost smallest art piece of the world.

„18 Days” records a trip that the artist underwent with the goal of crossing the borders of China’s neighbouring countries with remote controlled toy weapons. Xu Zhen bought some remote control weapons. Then on the boundary line between China and neighbouring countries, he remote controlled these toy weapons entering into neighbouring countries. The documentary in this work recorded the whole course in 18 days.

Xu Zhen has exhibited at many leading museums and biennales around the world, including Venice Biennale (2001 and 2005), The Museum of Modern Art (New York, 2004), ICP (2004), Yokohama Triennial (2005), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2005), MoMA PS1 (New York, 2006), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 2006), Tate Liverpool (2007), Istanbul Biennale (2007), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, 2009), S.M.A.K (Ghent, 2010), Bern Kunsthalle (2011) and Kiev Biennale (2012).

“Forbidden Castle” is Xu Zhen’s first exhibition in Central Europe.

            Daniel Pešta „LEVITATION“

Felix-Nussbaum-Haus / Kulturgeschichtliches MuseumOsnabrück 17. September bis 27. November 2011

            Dreams and Nightmares

            Maria Maria 1511/2011 

Albrecht Dürers Mariendarstellungen im Dialog mit zeitgenössischer Kunst

Museum Montanelli Prag, 17. 2. – 22. 5. / Felix-Nussbaum-Haus/Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück, 8. 6. – 17. 8. 2011

„Maria Maria 1511/2011“ ist das Ergebnis der Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem Museum Montanelli, Prag, und dem Felix-Nussbaum-Haus /Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück, das aus seinem Bestand den Kern der Ausstellung, Grafiken von Albrecht Dürer, nach Prag geben wird. Das Museum Montanelli, ein Haus für zeitgenössische Kunst, ergänzt die 500 Jahre alten Werke Dürers in Prag mit drei zeitgenössischen Kunstinstallationen und Videoprojektionen der im Libanon geborenen und in Miami, USA, lebenden Künstlerin Teresa Diehl. In Osnabrück werden darüber hinaus Arbeiten von Sigalit Landau, die dieses Jahr in Venedig auf der Biennale den Staat Israel vertreten wird, und Ulrike Rosenbach, eine der wichtigsten Künstlerinnen Deutschlands, in der Ausstellung präsentiert.