«Is There Any Hope for an Optimistic Art?»
Photography, video art, performance.
Date: July 6 — August 1
Venue: Moscow Museum Of Modern Art, Tverskoy Blvd, 9
Opening: July 5, 20.00

Curated by Martin Schibli (Sweden)

Artists: Maria Anwander (Austria), Olivier Babin (France), Conny Blom (Sweden — Slovenia), Rasmus West (Finland — Sweden), Natalya Dyu (Kazakhstan), Ivan Galuzin (Russia — Norway), Zeren Göktan (Turkey), Oscar Guermouche & Lise Haurum Christensen (Sweden + Denmark — Sweden), Elin Magnusson (Sweden), Carlos Motta (Colombia — USA), Marina Naprushkina (Belarus — Germany), Max Ockborn (Sweden), Kristian Skylstad (Norway — Germany), Nina Slejko (Slovenia — Sweden), Soren Thilo Funder (Denmark — Turkey), Karin Hasselberg (Netherlands), Katrin Hornek (Austria), Gardar Eide Einarsson (Norway — USA), Klas Eriksson (Sweden)

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, ... The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
Barak Obama Inauguration speech 2009.

The President of the United States, Barak Obama, has in several occasions urged for a new ideology — optimism. Within the art world these fought are also seen in the 53rd biennale in Venice (2009), curator Daniel Birnbaum, and he has at several occasions turned against statements like «the art is dead», instead he sees his biennale as a fresh starting point for something new. Are we facing a new ideology? And could art really be a part of this ideology?

Optimism is not easy task for the artworld. In fact, one of the most common roles of the artists during the last decades was to take a critical standpoint towards the social sphere, i. e. bring forward injustices. The critical position for the artists is actually one of the key elements of art, and it is mostly regarded as an artistic quality. Despite this, would it be possible for artists to make an optimistic art? It is a thin line, but most of the previous attempts have turned into kitsch or totalitarianism. Optimism in art has often been linked to ideology and nationality. In the avant-garde, art has often aimed to lead the people into the Promised Land. Most of the Russian avantgarde supported the revolution, and in the sixties and seventies, a majority of artists in Western Europe and the US supported the radical political movements.

Then an artist work on optimism today, they are more interested to study the representation of optimism, instead of being optimistic themselves. Still, there are many artists that see the very practice of art from an optimistic standpoint. Frank Auerbach has said «I´m hoping to make a new thing for the world that remains in the mind like a new species of living thing.», and Sean Scully has recently said that «optimism is the only path».

The exhibition examines the notion of optimism from different angles and the possibilities of an optimistic art based on different artistic position of young artists. App 15-20 artists will participate in the exhibition. The selected works depends on the space available and financial support.

With support of Kalmar Konstmuseum (Kalmar, Sweden)

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