National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art | 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu
03062 Seoul

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Peter Weibel: Art as an Act of Cognition
February 3–May 14, 2023

The retrospective exhibition respectively, Peter Weibel. Art as an Act of Cognitionoffers a comprehensive overview of the entire oeuvre of the internationally significant media and concept artist Peter Weibel (b. 1944), whose achievements as an artist, curator and theoretical thinker have had a crucial influence on the development of the media arts since the 1960s. The exhibition brings together 70 of Weibel’s influential works and presents them in thematic sections, from actions and performances, photography, the examination of language, writing and poetry, over films and videos, to expanded cinema and computer-based installations.

Peter Weibel has created artworks that speak out fearlessly on the subject of politics and social matters of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries and radically challenged conventional notions of art. Under the conditions of the nascent age of media, since the 1960s, Weibel developed an artistic language based on his intensive engagement with language theory, mathematics, and philosophy, which initially led him from visual poetry and experimental literature to performance and the deconstruction of cinematic representation. Already in his early work, Peter Weibel explored the entire spectrum of the apparatus-based arts and posed the complex question of the ontological difference between representation and reality. From 1966, he applied participatory and interactive practices in his works to communicate with his audience and encourage their active participation.

Peter Weibel is a nomad traveling between art and science who to this day consistently pursues his ways of looking at problems in various materials, forms, and techniques. With logical stringency, he as a constructor of worlds has created an artistic oeuvre that leads from critique of perception to critique of language and media to critique of reality. With his “faith in the healing power of logical treatment” (Peter Sloterdijk), the curator, theorist, and above all artist Peter Weibel provides us with the tools to be prepared against any form of simplifying explanatory models of the world. Art with Peter Weibel is a process of cognition.

This exhibition demonstrates for the first time in Asia how Weibel has developed his visual language in accordance with the major shifts in science, technology and human society of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and provides the viewer with a deeper understanding of the manifold complexities of our current times. The exhibition respectively, Peter Weibel. Art as an Act of Cognition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) is realized in collaboration with the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (Germany), where the exhibition was presented in 2019/2020. As other part of this cooperation, the exhibition Soun-Gui Kim: Lazy Clouds, which was shown 2019/2020 at the MMCA, was recently presented at the ZKM.

Curated by Hong Leeji (MMCA), Clara Runge (ZKM), and Philipp Ziegler (ZKM)
Curatorial Assistant: Sojung Jang (MMCA)
Technical support by Lee Kyoungmi (MMCA), Christian Lölkes (ZKM) and Martin Häberle (ZKM)