vienna

“Wittgenstein”

Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

Wittgenstein is one of those philosophers who has not yet been totally demolished because in the ’40s he was already performing deconstruction on his own system. Now the Wiener Secession has celebrated the centennial of Wittgenstein’s birth, not by pursuing a historical transfiguration, but by taking seriously the philosopher’s potential for contemporary relevance. Joseph Kosuth curated an homage to Wittgenstein that was one of the few bright spots in the disaster area of European group shows. Naturally, Kosuth’s tribute requires some clarification. It was neither an exegesis in the academic sense nor an illustration of Wittgenstein’s thinking—and it was anything but a history of Wittgenstein’s reception in art. Rather, this exhibition, subtitled “Das Spiel des Unsagbaren” (The game of the unspeakable), was a Kosuth opus: the artist, who has studied the philosopher’s thought for more than

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