Exhibitions
September 30, 2010 - January 2, 2011
Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague
Group show
Otto M. Urban
Curator
Decadence-NOW-VISIONS-OF-EXCESS-
Decadence NOW! - VISIONS OF EXCESS
Damien Hirst, David Wojnarowicz, Gilbert and George, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Joel Peter Witkin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Matthew Barney, Gottfried Helnwein, Pierre et Gilles, Yasumasa Morimura etc.
During the past several years, the concepts of decadence have begun to appear more and more in art theory, often in relation to current art. Decadence is one of the continual properties of modern art. The commonness of the concept of decadence, or its parallel existence outside of the sphere of art, also enables new methodological processes and combinations, and discovers new territories and relationships. Decadent art is excessive, it exceeds the level of what is generally acceptable, and it provocatively demolishes the most sensitive taboos. Decadence is also firmly connected to the clear stance of outsider individualism. Starting on the 1970's, we can monitor the continual effort of the artists like Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Nobuyoshi Araki, Jake a Dinos Chapman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Damien Hirst, Zhang Peng, Keith Haring, Andres Serrano, Gottfried Helnwein etc. to work with typical decadent themes.
Galerie Rudolfinum
29. 9. – 19. 12. 2010
curator: Otto M. Urban

The Decadence Now! Visions of Excess is the international exhibition project which works with the concept of decadence in current art. The exhibition is not divided chronologically, but thematically into sequential sections which fluently and logically relate to each other, and which also create a sort-of imaginary closing circle.
During the past several yeas, the concepts of decadence have begun to appear more and more in art theory, often in relation to current art. The commonness of the concept of decadence, or its parallel existence outside of the sphere of art, also enables new methodological processes and combinations, and discovers new territories and relationships. Decadent art is excessive, it exceeds the level of what is generally acceptable, and it provocatively demolishes the most sensitive taboos. Decadence is also firmly connected to the clear stance of outsider individualism.
Decadence is a theme which is topical in current culture, or better yet, it is once again topical. The apocalyptic feeling of ruin and crisis of our civilization incites the increased interest in the dark side of humans and of the world itself.
Starting on the 1970's, we can monitor the continual effort of the artists like Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Nobuyoshi Araki, Jake a Dinos Chapman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Damien Hirst, Zhang Peng, Keith Haring, Andres Serrano, Gottfried Helnwein etc. to work with typical decadent themes.
In relation to this, the increased interest in decadence from the view of the expert and lay public is also relevant. Exhibitions which present works of decadent art evoke enthusiastic reactions in the same manner as public scandals do. However, they always open discussions on an entire line of key themes like alienation, ugliness, beauty, hallucination, death, pornography, drugs, sickness and madness, that form basic questions of current culture and society.
It is also apparent that a theme which is seemingly obsolete and out-of-date, such as censorship (internal and external), once again makes an appearance on the scene in the context of the new political correctness. Decadent art is subversive, impulsive, it does not evoke indifference, but it requires the formulization of a clear stance. In this sense, decadence is excessive, extreme and also provocative. Alienation, seeming impartialness or depersonalized voyeurism is also a clearly profiled attitude of decadence.
This exhibition presents contemporary artists and their works in the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, and videos in five main areas, including Pop, extended by an independent installation, “Room No. 13,” in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, which indicates current trends in fashion or design.
The exhibition shall be completed by an entire line of accompanying programs (music, film, literature etc.). The Arbor Vitae publishing house, in cooperation with Galerie Rudolfinum will release an extensive publication, whose author is Otto M. Urban, curator of the exhibition, that mapping the entire exhibition project from not only the graphic arts viewpoint, but also from the philosophical, historical and social viewpoints. Of course, a rich picture part documenting the exhibited works will be the centre point of the whole book.
Parts of the exhibition:
Excess of the Self: Pain
Damien Hirst, David Wojnarowicz, Gilbert and George, Cindy Sherman etc.
Excess of the Body: Sex
Jeff Koons, Joel Peter Witkin, Géza Szöllösi, Jake a Dinos Chapman etc.
Excess of the Beauty: Pop
David LaChapelle, Erwin Olaf, Pierre et Gilles, Yasumasa Morimura etc.
Excess of the Mind: Madness
Matthew Barney, Gottfried Helnwein, Josef Bolf, Jürgen Klauke etc.
Excess of the Life: Death
Keith Haring, Ivan Pinkava, Steven Gregory, Robert Mapplethorpe etc
Rudolfinum, Prague
2008





back to the top