International exhibitions

International 2010 Archives

Catch Me, Grasping Speed
Kunsthaus Graz (Austria)

06.02 - 25.04.2010


04.06- 15.08.2010


07.09 - 25.11.2012

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Press release

Contrasting with Tatiana Trouvé’s solo exhibition Il Grande Ritratto in Space02 that will show a space in a condition of arrested time, the group exhibition Catch Me! is about the phenomenon of speed as a personal experience in relation to a socially constructed image and as a quest to grasp life in full bloom.

The 20th century witnessed numerous theoretical and artistic works on the subject of speed as an experimental pheromenon, and as Guillaume Apollinaire predicted in 1903, it might be called "the Century of Spedd". Thanks to the increasing demand for deceleration, the preoccupation with speed has resurfaced, and is critically scrutinised both as a metaphor for the development of life itself and for concentrated situations full of energy. At the same time, while harmessing the optimism of modernism, speed is enthusiastically celebrated.

Speed is generally either negatively exaggerated or romantically idealized as perhaps in Jack Kerouac´s On the Road, or in Paul Virilio’s benchmark essay Polar Inertia. Speed has been the metaphor for everything new and hot, for development as a general driving force of life itself, as well as for intense situations of energy, creativity and spirit. The works selected for Catch Me! are about this fascination with acute situations, the thrill of an accelerating dynamic and the exhilaration that speed can generate, as well as about captivating the force of movement in time. That every form of speed is invariably followed by slowing down is something that we usually try to forget when we are in the exhilarated stage of acceleration, but if nothing else this is what the recession has undoubtedly shown us by confronting us with stark images of the stock market index.

So Catch Me! will deal with the longing, the waiting, even the lust for speed that can be seen as a desire to be master of a concentrated moment. Speed and acceleration carry with them a usually very male image of power that borders on the carnal and erotic. Thereby promising an exciting, sometimes even clear-sighted experience as spelt out so vigorously by the Futurists one hundred years ago when Marinetti proclaimed that passivity was over, “aggressive action” was to come and “that the world’s magnificence had been enriched by the new beauty of speed.” In 1909 when Marinetti wrote his famous sentence and damned everything old with it, cars were just about getting faster than the fastest animal, the first planes had left the earth, but no man or woman had yet been to the moon and actually seen the slowed down circular movement of the small blue ball in a huge, never ending, continuously moving space. And no one had dreamt of actually diving into the depths of a proton and finding there a whole new – continuously moving - universe of existence.

Accordingly the desire to grasp speed is also to be understood as a desire to comprehend the phenomenon as a metaphor for life itself in its form and composition and to scrutinizingly take it apart, maybe by anachronistically slowing it down, by splitting it up or by extracting forcefully an essence.

Starting with High-Speed Gardening by Ed Ruscha, the exhibition represents an attempt to set up a choreographed display, with a group of artists making speed in its various facets the libretto in the design of Space01.



Catch Me, Grasping Speed, Kunsthaus Graz

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 6 February - 25 April 2010. Kunsthaus Graz, Space01, Lendkal 1 - 8020 Graz (Austria). Tel.: +43 316 8017 9200. Tue - Sun 10am - 6pm.

The works selected for the exhibition Catch me ! are about the sheer thrill of acceleration but also take a critically detached look at speed, whether via anachronistic deceleration, analysis or forceful extraction of an essence, thereby showing a sometimes downtight paradoxical image of a race with life itself.

The Artists : Gwenaël Bélanger / Christian Eisenberger / Peter Fischli & Dadiv Weiss / Daniel Hafner / Carsten Höller / Erika Giovanna Klien / Lu Qing / Aleksandra Mir / Lisi Raskin / Ludwig Reutterer / Wilhelm Rösler / Ed Rusha / Anri Sala / Roman Signer / Xavier Veilhan / Stella Weissenberg / Markus Wilfing…

Curated by Katrin Bucher Trantow