When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes takes as its starting point the 1969 exhibition Live In Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (Works – Concepts – Processes – Situations – Information) presented at the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland and curated by Harald Szeemann. When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes includes over 80 international contemporary artists across both the exhibition and catalogue that work within the lineage and language of Conceptual art practices.
Mostly known by its short title, When Attitudes Become Form was an exhibition that brought together new tendencies in the art of its time, known today as post-Minimalism, Arte Povera, Land art and Conceptual art. Although the artists and works included came from diverse points of view, the exhibition did not attempt to assimilate these varying approaches into a singular narrative; rather it allowed the disparities and differences in the artists that were selected to hold and approached these works in terms of a shifting relationship between the artist and artwork, one in which the activity and process of the artist was now prioritized above that of the medium. Szeemann’s own summary of the show’s content was itself lengthy, but it signaled this shift in the relationship of artist, studio and museum: ‘the obvious opposition to form; the high degree of personal and emotional engagement; the pronouncement that certain objects are art, although they have not previously been defined as such; the shift of interest away from the result towards the artistic process; the use of mundane objects; the interaction of work and material; Mother Earth as medium, workplace, the desert as concept.’
Harald Szeemann’s 1969 exhibition has become one of the most legendary shows of the recent past. While the exhibition has since been discussed, researched and examined in a wide range of essays, books and conferences, an investigation into its history and impact has never before been realized in the format of an exhibition. The Wattis’s exhibition will take on the history and the myths around When Attitudes Become Form by bringing together a large group of international contemporary artists that follow, in a number of ways, the legacy of Conceptual art. Just as the original exhibition allowed for a diversity in material approaches, artistic voice, and process, When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes includes a diverse array of contemporary artists who continue to work within a similarly experimental and expansive approach. As When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes considersWhen Attitudes Become Form as a living past, enlivening and re-imagining its legacy in the current moment, the contemporary artworks will be presented alongside historical documents and representations of Szeemann’s original exhibition.
Curated by Jens Hoffmann with Liz Glass and Katie Hood Morgan for the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
Zarouhie Abdalian, Pablo Accinelli, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Jonathas de Andrade, Kathryn Andrews, Nazgol Ansarinia, Nicolás Bacal, Christopher Badger, Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, Yto Barrada, Taysir Batniji, James Beckett, Nina Beier, Erick Beltrán, Walead Beshty, Cezary Bodzianowski, Matthew Buckingham, Johanna Calle, Arabella Campbell, Juan Capistran, Mariana Castillo Deball, Etienne Chambaud, Marcelo Cidade, Claire Fontaine, Nicolás Consuegra, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Alexandre da Cunha, Maria Eichhorn, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Cevdet Erek, Annika Eriksson, Lara Favaretto, Aurélien Froment, Simon Fujiwara, Meschac Gaba, Dani Gal, Ryan Gander, Mario Garcia Torres, João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, Alexander Gutke, Jeppe Hein, Emily Jacir, Maryam Jafri, Alicja Kwade, Luisa Lambri, Adriana Lara, Tim Lee, Mateo López, Renata Lucas, Marie Lund, Kris Martin, Vincent Meessen, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Jonathan Monk, Shahryar Nashat, Roman Ondák, Fernando Ortega, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Nicolás Paris, Pratchaya Phinthong, Amalia Pica, Kirsten Pieroth, Wilfredo Prieto, Pablo Rasgado, Nicolás Robbio, Will Rogan, Pamela Rosenkranz, Fabrice Samyn, Kim Schoenstadt, Tino Sehgal, Sean Snyder, Mark Soo, Mateo Tannatt, Ron Terada, Hank Willis Thomas, Jan Timme, Clarissa Tossin, Guido van der Werve, Natasha Wheat, and Akram Zaatari.