The outcome of Vincent Honoré's year-long curatorial residency with the Zabludowicz Collection, Past-Forward will be the third exhibition at 176, featuring more than 30 international contemporary artists whose works manipulate, re-play and disrupt existing structures of cultural production. The exhibition will include important works from the Zabludowicz Collection, by artists including Susanne Bürner, Nathan Mabry, Sigmar Polke, Damien Roach and Andro Wekua. It will also include works from other collections, as well as a specially-created installation by Claudia Wieser and an ambitious site-specific commission by Florian Slotawa. The exhibition will capture a specific conceptual strand of contemporary art practice.
Appropriation and revision are recurring techniques in Past-Forward, often performed with humorous irreverence or indifference to the original source material. These practices reflect a sceptical attitude towards high art. They question the means and ends of artistic production in the face of an increasingly globalised culture. Such themes are apparent in Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's Walking After Acconci (redirected approaches) (2005), which appropriates the visual language of MTV to revise and update early experimental video and performance art. These trends testify to a change in the development of contemporary culture at large; they signify an age in which images and concepts are re-formed, re-informed and re-codified to create new meanings.
The works in Past-Forward make apparent their conceptual and formal origins. These origins, whether art historical references or modes of industrial production, are treated without reverence, and are used as elements of syntax in a renewed aesthetic language. Walead Beshty, for example, engages with early photographic practices to map not only physical manipulations but also his processes of production, while Damien Roach references 20th-century philosophy and popular culture in his sculptural installations.
The exhibition has been conceived in response to 176, addressing its multiple layers of history, as well as to the Zabludowicz Collection itself. This will be particularly evident in two major new installations created especially for Past-Forward. Claudia Wieser will be producing a photocopied wall and ceiling installation, while Florian Slotawa will create a vast fresco.
The following artists will be exhibiting: Saâdane Afif (France, 1970), Justin Beal (USA, 1978), Nina Beier and Marie Lund (Denmark, 1975 & 1976), Walead Beshty (UK, 1976),Susanne Bürner (Germany, 1970), Nicholas Byrne (UK, 1979), Haris Epaminonda (Cyprus, 1980), Mark Flores (USA, 1970), Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (UK, 1973 & 1972), Sebastien Gögel (Germany, 1978), Alban Hajdinaj (Albania, 1974), Mathew Hale (UK, 1962), Elliott Hundley (USA, 1975), Bethan Huws (UK, 1961), Elad Lassry (Israel, 1977), Nathan Mabry (USA, 1978), Fabian Marti (Switzerland, 1979), Kris Martin(Belgium, 1972), Przemek Matecki (Poland, 1976), Sigmar Polke (Germany, 1941), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia, 1972), Damien Roach (UK, 1980), Florian Slotawa (Germany, 1972), John Stezaker (UK, 1949), Jack Strange (UK, 1984), Sara VanDerBeek (USA, 1976), Ulla von Brandenburg (Germany, 1974), Andro Wekua (Georgia, 1977) and Claudia Wieser (Germany, 1973).
Vincent Honoré is an independent curator based in Paris, and has previously worked at Palais de Toyko, Paris and Tate Modern, London. He is the first curator-in-residence at 176 and has been working with the Zabludowicz Collection since February 2007.
Past-Forward will be accompanied by a publication designed by London-based collective Åbäke, which will include contributions by Ben Borthwick, Ilsa Colsell, Vincent Honoré, Andrew Hunt, Raimundas Malašauskas, Michael Ned Holte and Elizabeth Neilson.