Moscow Museum of Modern Art
National Centre for Contemporary Art
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
THE HUMAN CONDITION
SESSION II: HUMAN AND THE OTHERS. Love, friendship, suspicion, aversion
Exhibition «Don’t You Think It’s Time For Love?»
Eli Cortinas, FIN, 2010
Andy Worhol, Kiss, 1963
Ion Grigorescu. Alecsandri, 1980
Jonas Mekas. Outtakes of Life of a Happy Man, 2012
Jonas Mekas. Outtakes of Life of a Happy Man, 2012
Date: 02.11.2016 — 08.01.2017
Venue: MMOMA, Ermolaevsky Lane 17
Artistic Director: Viktor Misiano
Co-curator of the session: Elena Yaichnikova
Project advisors: Madina Tlostanova and Alexander Bibikov
Co-curator of the first session: Daria Pyrkina
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents the second session of an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional project «The Human Condition». The session «HUMAN AND THE OTHERS. Love, friendship, suspicion, aversion» will focus on a human being in the framework of emotional relationships and his interaction with the social environment.
The session encompasses an exhibition, research projects and discussions. Its starting point is the «Don’t You Think It’s Time For Love?» exhibition, the title of which, following the referential logic of the project, refers to the work «Everything Else Has Failed! Don’t You Think It’s Time For Love?» by the American artist Sharon Hayes. On display are video works, installations, photographs and books by 23 artists from all over the world including Yoko Ono, Boris Mikhailov, Jonas Mekas, Sophie Calle, and Andy Warhol. Some of the works have been created especially for the show. The exhibition in the MMOMA building at Ermolaevsky Lane is divided into four semantic sections and explores the internal dialectics of, maybe, the most important human emotion — love.
The first section of the exhibition entitled «Love is colder than death» deals with the complex and ambiguous nature of the feeling belying the concept of love as an ecstatic and self-sufficient experience. The feeling does not make two become one, but, on the contrary, love stands for their internal duality: each of them contains the other. At the same time, in losing yourself in affection for another, rather than gaining another, you rediscover yourself. «Those in love», as Rilke wrote, «stand guard over the solitude of each other». We can never fully seize what we gain in the state of love, it constantly slips away from us, inflicting pain. The surplus turns into a shortage. Only this allows for the «eternal», «undying love».
As François de La Rochefoucauld has noted, «People would never fall in love if they hadn’t heard about the concept of love.» The second section of the exhibition «Utterances of the enamoured» will concentrate on the social aspect of the feeling. Love is always a drama, a game and a spectacle, love involves inheritance of the tradition of romance and at least in part, love for the feeling love.
The third part of the exhibition «The ceremony of love» will trace how love gravitates to ritual, which is considered an anthropological basis for social connections. Jean Genet has noted that love is spurred by an encounter. Once met, lovers want to meet each other again and again, more and more often.
The title of the fourth section of the exhibition, «Personal is political», alludes to the renowned slogan of American political activists of the 1970s. While confessing one’s feelings, one more than ever tries to avoid banality. As the philosophy of language states, by changing the language we are changing reality; by changing our daily behavior we are changing the social order. Love becomes a metaphor and the driving force behind social renewal. «Being something that doesn’t enter into the immediate order of things», Alain Badiou states, «love is always a truth procedure; it defines a new way of being».
Film screenings, lectures and discussions will accompany the exhibition. The main programme is planned for December 2016.
Artists: Bisan Abu Eisheh, Rania Bellou, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Ion Grigorescu, Nuria Guell, Akram Zaatari, Sophie Calle, Eli Cortinas, Fouad Elkoury, Jonas Mekas, Lee Mingwei, Boris Mikhailov, Tracey Moffatt, Nikolay Oleynikov, Yoko Ono, Koka Ramishvili, Mariateresa Sartori, Anita Sieff, Andy Warhol, Hans Peter Feldman, Gabriella Ciancimino, Katerina Seda
About «The Human Condition» project
Conceived by the three leading Moscow institutions — the National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center — the interdisciplinary project comprises seven thematic sessions unfolding across time and including exhibitions, symposiums, lectures and workshops.
The title of this project refers to the homonymous book by Hannah Arendt, whose philosophical thought attempted to answer the key question of the past century — how to be and stay Human in the face of the drama of History? The idea of this project, realized by the three museums, springs from the assumption that the Human today has once again become a central cultural issue. Artists and thinkers are revisiting the themes of memory and trauma, origins and homelessness, biography and destiny, hope and love, faith and fidelity. Contemporary reality cannot be reduced to simple definitions and exhaustive interpretations, and this is why the human and his experience become the starting and the ending points of the current state of the world.
«The Human Condition» encompasses an array of activities including research projects, exhibitions and discussions, draws on current worldview issues, showcases current social sciences achievements and brings world leading intellectuals into the discussion. It aims not to offer outcomes, but to reflect the agility and multifacetedness of contemporary thought and perception of the world. «The Human Condition» is intended to serve as a platform for intellectual and artistic reflection on topical issues of contemporaneity and challenges of these tumultuous times.
The project will conclude with an extensive exhibition and publication of the collection of articles based on the symposium materials.