“Dear art,” Mladen Stilinović wrote in 1999, “I am writing you a love letter to cheer you up and encourage you to come and visit me some time.” Always acutely aware of his own complicity and involvement, in his address to art, Stilinović intimates a set of troubled, poetic, enigmatic and modest observations on the standing of art in the contemporary world, its reception and distribution. But he also questions the value of art, which far too often is translated exclusively in monetary terms, or as he puts it: “quick manipulation, quick money, quick oblivion.”
As in several previous shows curated by WHW, ‘Dear Art’ takes its title from a work by Mladen Stilinović, and once again its wager is set on the “classical” exhibition format. Amidst the disillusionment created by the persistent feeling of failure (coming from the fact that attempts for a radical reconfiguration of art and cultural production in general always become almost immediately spectacularized), ‘Dear Art’ insists on the obstinate repetition of what has become the curatorial method. Obsessed with the interconnectedness of art and politics and plagued by the nature of art’s “inefficiency,” it attempts to ask necessary questions: Why do we still need art, and what is it that we expect to get from art today? What is its promise, and what do we promise it in return? And what happens when this promise is broken, betrayed, and just plain exhausted?
29 November 2012 – 10 February 2013
+MSUM / Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova
Curated by: What, How and for Whom/WHW