Kunsthalle Zürich

They Printed It!

Invitation cards, press releases, inserts and other forms of artistic (self-) marketing

21 Nov 2015 - 07 Feb 2016

Installation view: Kunsthalle Zürich, 2015, Photo: Thomas Strub
Installation view: Kunsthalle Zürich, 2015, Photo: Thomas Strub
Installation view: Kunsthalle Zürich, 2015, Photo: Thomas Strub
Invitation cards, press releases, inserts and other forms of artistic (self-) marketing
21 November 2015 - 7 February 2016

They Printed It! focuses on invitations, press releases, and inserts made by artists. These apparently unimportant items are frequently overlooked and carelessly discarded. They are used for announcements and self-marketing, and are sometimes also artworks in their own right. As a space for experiments they enticingly promise to spread art almost unnoticed among the masses. Artists such as Maria Eichhorn, Louise Lawler, Martin Kippenberger, Pierre Leguillon, Jonathan Monk, Albert Oehlen, Michael Riedel, and Heimo Zobernig have systematically worked with this medium and made productive use of the contradictions on which it is based.

Conversely, galleries such as Bruno Bischofberger, neugerriemschneider, Matthew Marks, The Modern Institute, and institutions such as agnès b., Les Complices*, Low Bet, Message Salon, New Jerseyy, Ringier with his annual reports, the Swiss Institute, and Kunsthalle Zürich along with the advertising industry have used similar approaches in their means of communication. In recent years an increasing number of artists have written their press releases themselves. They use this promotional platform as part of their exhibitions and as an opportunity to reclaim the power of interpretation from gallerists, curators, and critics. Thus, we find ourselves in the midst of a broad and dynamic field that has so far received very little attention. Now, as this form of analog social media seems to have receded to the background as a result of progressing digitization, They Printed It! is also conceived as a cabinet des estampes and a long-overdue homage.

At Kunsthalle Zürich, in cooperation with Zurich based collector Christoph Schifferli, numerous invitations, press releases, and printed materials will be spread across the walls, exhibited in display cases, and stored in boxes. Everyone is invited to help create the online archive theyprintedit.com. As our visitor, you will be requested to be part of the project by choosing invitation cards, uploading them to our archive blog, and adding your own comments. The aim is to build an archive at the museum through a dialogue of many different voices, which will be accessible worldwide online beginning in mid-November. In addition we have sought to appeal to individual contributors and audiences with a series of workshops held by specialists from the Zurich University of the Arts (Martin Jäggi and Marianne Müller), the Institute of Art History at the University of Zurich (Simon Baier), and the Postgraduate Programme in Curating curating.org at the Zurich University of the Arts (Michael Birchall and Dorothee Richter). Furthermore, art historian Barbara Preisig will organize a symposium on November 21 2015 and will edit a publication on the topic along with art historian Maja Wismer in cooperation with curating.org.

They Printed It! is part of a series of exhibitions that expand the boundaries of a classical exhibition at the Kunsthalle Zürich. This initiative began in spring 2015 with Theater der Überforderung, a theatrical experiment by director Barbara Weber that included artists, actors, musicians, filmmakers, students, visitors, and the team of Kunsthalle Zürich. They Printed It!, the parallel exhibition Building Modern Bodies: The Art of Bodybuilding, and the upcoming show The Playground Project (February 20 – May 15 2016) will continue this expansion.

Selected list of represented artists, institutions and galleries (selection): 47 Canal, Carl Andre, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren, Andre Cadere, Contemporary Fine Arts, Trisha Donnelly, Jean Dubuffet, Maria Eichhorn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Forde, Galerie Francesca Pia, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Dan Graham, Wade Guyton, Martin Kippenberger, Kunsthalle Zürich, Louise Lawler, Pierre Leguillon, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Low Bet, Galerie Meyer Riegger, The Modern Institute, Jonathan Monk, neugerriemschneider, New Jerseyy, Albert Oehlen, Jorge Pardo, Michael Riedel, Ringier Jahresberichte, Sidney Stucki, Studio Art International, Swiss Institute, Jean Tinguely, Niele Toroni, Piotr Uklanski, Lawrence Weiner, Heimo Zobernig u.v.m. This project is generously supported by

Tags: John M. Armleder, John Baldessari, Daniel Buren, André Cadere, Maria Eichhorn, Dan Graham, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Jonathan Monk, Albert Oehlen, Jean Tinguely, Piotr Uklanski, Heimo Zobernig