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Manifesto: Art x Agency at the Hirschhorn Museum

May 16, 2019

© Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst

Manifesto: Art x Agency is a group exhibition that examines the art historical impact of artist manifestos from the 20th century to present day. Organized by the Hirshhorn’s Chief Curator Stéphane Aquin, Manifesto: Art x Agency also marks the Washington, D.C., debut of German artist Julian Rosefeldt’s multichannel film, Manifesto, presented alongside a diverse selection of works from the museum’s permanent collection. Comprising more than 100 works of art and ephemera created over a hundred-year period, Manifesto: Art x Agency explores how artists used manifestos to engage with the political and social issues of their time and how contemporary practices still employ art as a tool in the making of history.

The Hirshhorn’s exhibition will be divided into three distinct sections. The introduction to the exhibition will feature a powerful display of the museum’s modern collection holdings, including seminal works by artists such as Jean Arp, Giacomo Balla, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dalí, Helen Frankenthaler, George Grosz, Hannah Höch, René Magritte, André Masson, Joan Miró, Joan Mitchell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock and Tsuruko Yamazaki.

Rosefeldt’s titular Manifesto (2015) will be displayed as a singular work in the second section. The multichannel film installation, featuring actress Cate Blanchett performing excerpts from some of the great manifestos of the past century, serves to demonstrate the contemporary resonance of the artist manifesto in today’s artistic and cultural climate, while simultaneously connecting earlier aesthetic movements from the previous section.

The third section will highlight contemporary pieces from the permanent collection, spanning from the 1960s to present day. This grouping will encompass works that provide a commentary on political movements and social change within contemporary contexts. Included among the artists on view are the Guerrilla Girls, Adrian Piper, Hurvin Anderson, Alfredo Jaar, Nam June Paik, Zoe Leonard, Catherine Opie and Glenn Ligon.

In a short preview of the exhibition, Chief Curator Stéphane Aquin discussed the origins of Manifesto: Art x Agency and the importance of manifestos for 20th century thinkers.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Hirshhorn will present the Washington debut of In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth), an ongoing global project by CAUSE COLLECTIVE artists Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks and Hank Willis Thomas. The participatory installation will be open on the museum’s outdoor Plaza June 8–23.

Find out more about the exhibition at the Hirschhorn museum website.

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