Eric C. H. de Bruyn

  • “The Most Dangerous Game”

    Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

    September 27–December 10

    Curated by Wolfgang Scheppe with Roberto Ohrt and Eleonora Sovrani

    LIBRARIES ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES. An early sign of their looming obsolescence was their museumification during the 1960s in the assorted reading rooms of Conceptual art. Since then, the library has become an art medium in its own right, from Andrea Fraser’s insubordinate Information Room, 1998—for which the books of the Kunsthalle Bern were reshelved with their spines to the wall—to Clegg & Guttman’s reclamation of the literary public sphere in Open Public Library,

  • Marcel Broodthaers, Monsieur Teste, 1975, mechanical figure, wicker chair, magazine. Installation view, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2016–17. Photo: Joaquín Cortés/Román Lores. © Estate of Marcel Broodthaers/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SABAM, Brussels.

    Marcel Broodthaers

    IT IS INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT, in a political landscape where deliberate confusion—alternative facts and fake news—holds sway, to determine precisely where the boundary between the artificial and the actual is to be drawn. Yet this seemingly contemporary condition was foreseen almost half a century ago by Marcel Broodthaers, who made this dialectic into the very substance of his practice: “When a work of art finds its condition in lies or deception, is it then still a work of art? I do not have the answer.” In a sense, this fundamental uncertainty is intrinsic to the endless staging

  • Jean Tinguely, Homage to New York, 1960, mixed media. Performance view, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 17, 1960. Photo: David Gahr.


    FROM ITS START, kinetic art has been possessed—by the uncanny Surrealist automaton as much as by the technological promise of a utopian future. And, in turn, it has haunted modern sculpture, which had long been vexed by Marx’s famous description of the commodity as a diabolical dancing object. Kinetic art, we came to think, was a bit of an embarrassment—indeed, an aesthetic dead end. But might we instead see kineticism as the very foundation of contemporary modes of experience, from the projected image to spectacle to the media network? Taking his cue from Artforum’s inaugural cover,