Birgit Jürgenssen


ich weiß nicht. Growing Relations between Things

June 21, 2017 until October 1, 2017

In a world increasingly shaped by digital technologies and interfaces, interaction between humans and things has become a focal point of interest. Against the backdrop of new digital and social settings, the group exhibition ich weiß nicht [I don’t know]—Growing Relations between Things analyzes the relationship between subject and object. In the framework of the VIENNA BIENNALE 2017: Robots. Work. Our Future, seventeen positions of contemporary artists, most of whom live and work in Austria, spin a narrative on the affect of things.

Objects—whether analog or digital—serve as tools (“media”) to configure our everyday world and thereby also shape our society. Through the Internet of Things, smart devices, wearables, and apps, it appears as though the objects we have designed are gaining ever more control over us humans. In this complex, networked world, how is it possible to maintain or reclaim our autonomous, sovereign lives?

The exhibition title alludes specifically to Birgit Jürgenssen’s work ich weiß nicht (2001), a photographic depiction of the artist’s car snowed under in a parking spot. Rendered undriveable, the vehicle serves as a medium for breaking taboos—the main focus of interest is relief that the machine no longer functions: I don’t know as an alternative form of autonomy and mental “mobility.”

As we come to terms with our inventions, creations, “self-expansions,” and “proxies,” new fields of interaction emerge. Not only in the museum context do human-made objects function as components of ever newer networks in a world beyond the reach of their creators. Awareness that through our actions—not least through our work—we place ourselves in reciprocal relationships with human-designed objects is the motivation for examining this phenomenon in the MAK DESIGN LAB. Last but not least, the exhibition reflects on the curatorial process itself, in which the capacity for relationships between things to multiply is a constant source of wonder.


Padhi Frieberger, Bruno Gironcoli, Sofia Goscinski, Nilbar Güreş, Lisa Holzer, Birgit Jürgenssen, Anita Leisz, Paul Leitner, Ute Müller, Julian Palacz, Signe Rose, Günther Selichar, Misha Stroj, Zin Taylor, Sofie Thorsen, Patrick Topitschnig, Kay Walkowiak

Curators: Janina Falkner, Contemporary Art Collection; and Marlies Wirth, Curator, Digital Culture and Design Collection, MAK


FEMINIST AVANTGARDE in the 1970s from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND Collection

May 6, 2017 until September 3, 2017

mumok is presenting more than 300 artworks from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND collection that show how women artists in the 1970s first began to collectively redefine their own “image of woman.” As this significant artistic movement has been neglected in art histories to date, the collection director, Gabriele Schor, coined the term ”feminist avant-garde” and introduced it into art-historical discourse—with the aim of highlighting these artists’ pioneering work. Schor thus extended the avantgarde canon hitherto dominated by men.

In the 1970s women artists emancipated themselves from the roles of muse and model, rejecting their status as objects in order to assert themselves as subjects actively participating in social and political processes. One-dimensional role ascriptions as mothers, homemakers, or wives were radically challenged—often using irony. Key themes were female sexuality, women’s own bodies, clichés and stereotypical images of women, the dictate of beauty, and violence against women. The women artists of this generation were united in their committed rejection of traditional normative notions, even if they did not all know each other.

At a time when civil rights and women’s movements were gaining ground, women’s issues were increasingly the subject of public debate. One important slogan was “the private is political,” gaining women and their quasi-private concerns greater influence and resonance in public life. They set up feminist networks, organized exhibitions, wrote manifestoes, and founded numerous journals and magazines. In their art, they made strategic use of historically “untainted” media such as photography, video, and film. Performances and actions were also preferred means of expression—as a contrast to the male-dominated genre of painting.

The exhibition shows works by 47 European, North American and South American women artists, including Eleanor Antin, Helena Almeida, Lynda Benglis, Renate Bertlmann, Lynda Christanell, Lili Dujourie, VALIE EXPORT, Sanja Ivekovic, Birgit Jürgensson, Ketty La Rocca, Karin Mack, Ana Mendieta, Rita Myers, Orlan, Gina Pane, Ewa Partum, Margot Pilz, Ulrike Rosenbach, Martha Rosler, Carolee Schneemann, Cindy Sherman, Hannah Wilke und Martha Wilson.

Curated by Gabriele Schor (director, SAMMLUNG VERBUND) and Eva Badura-Triska (mumok curator)


Kosmische Kunst von 1900 bis heute

Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz
29 September 2017 until 14 January 2018

The endless expanse of the night sky before our eyes, the shining stars almost close enough to touch! It’s gone now, the dark night. It has been conquered by electric light. Buildings, squares and streets are brightly illuminated at night. The lights of the big cities have blocked out the starry sky that can now hardly be seen. Light pollution has meanwhile robbed a third of the world population of the view of the Milky Way, shooting stars and glowing comets. The complex and cross-media exhibition provides insights into the relationship between human beings and the stars, which is the subject of research, romance, fortune-telling, but also of threat scenarios. Dreamily, humorously, poetically, and also ironically, the artists of the 20th and 21st century have probed humanity’s relationship to the endlessness of the starry sky, engaging with the twinkling of the stars and the current loss of that light.

Women House

Une exposition collective d’artistes femmes

La Monnaie de Paris
October, 20 2017 until January, 28 2018


Women House est la rencontre de deux notions : un genre – le féminin – et un espace – le domestique. L'architecture et l'espace public ont été masculins, tandis que l'espace domestique a été longtemps la prison, ou le refuge des femmes : cette évidence historique n'est pourtant pas une fatalité et l'exposition Women House nous le montre. Elle rassemble sur 1000 m2 et dans une partie des cours de la Monnaie de Paris, 40 artistes femmes du XXe et XXIe siècle qui se saisissent de ce sujet complexe et mettent la femme au centre d'une histoire dont elle était absente. Après l'étape parisienne, Women House s'exposera au National Museum of Women in the Arts à Washington D.C à partir du 8 mars 2018.

L'enjeu de trouver un espace de travail chez soi a été théorisé en 1929 par Virginia Woolf, qui encourageait les femmes à trouver une chambre qu'elles puissent "fermer à clé sans être dérangé" dans son essai "Une chambre à soi". C'est la date de "départ" de Women House, dont l'ambition se poursuit de manière thématique jusqu'à des œuvres récentes, produites par une jeune génération d'artistes femmes, en passant par les années 70, moment où les artistes femmes se rebellent contre la privation d'espace réel - d'exposition, de travail – et symbolique – de reconnaissance.

Les huit chapitres de l'exposition reflètent la complexité des points de vue possibles sur le sujet : ils ne sont pas seulement féministes (Desperate Housewives), mais aussi poétiques (Une Chambre à soi), politiques (Mobile-Homes) ou nostalgiques (Maisons de Poupées).

Les 40 artistes de  Women House viennent de quatre continents, de l’historique Claude Cahun jusqu'à une jeune génération : l'artiste mexicaine Pia Camil, l'iranienne Nazgol Ansarinia, la portugaise Joana Vasconcelos, l'allemande Isa Melsheimer ou les françaises Laure Tixier et Elsa Sahal... Certains noms sont connus (Louise Bourgeois, Niki de Saint Phalle, Martha Rosler, Mona Hatoum, Cindy Sherman, Rachel Whiteread) d'autres sont l'objet de redécouvertes récentes liées à une relecture de l'histoire de l'art plus paritaire (Birgit Jürgenssen, Ana Vieira, Laetitia Parente, Heidi Bucher).
Des œuvres monumentales seront exposées dans les cours de la Monnaie de Paris, dans un parcours liant le Pont des Arts au Pont Neuf rendu public et accessible gratuitement à partir de l'automne 2017.

Une exposition placée sous le commissariat de Camille Morineau, Directrice des Expositions et des Collections de la Monnaie de Paris et Lucia Pesapane, Commissaire d’exposition à la Monnaie de Paris.