(Just what is it that makes today´s exhibitions so different, so appealing?)

Mixed-media installation
Single-channel digital video HD, color, sound, 16:9,
[Realized with the support of the Generación 2015 Fundación Montemadrid prize]

Today, what criteria must a work of art fulfil in order to experience success on the international art scene?

I combed through well-known art magazine blogs as well as galleries and social media websites and gathered more than 2500 photos of art exhibitions from all over the world, comprehending a period of four years (2011 - 2015). I evaluated the picture archive looking for formal trends, and identified 21 categories, seeking to find the canon of the contemporary international exhibition business. This includes motifs, objects, materials and forms of presentation: `Birds´, `Bottles´, `Canvases hanging directly on the wall´, `Cardboard boxes´, `Circles and spheres´, `Classical antiquity´, `Creased things on the floor´, `Fans´, `Folded things on the floor´, `Grids´, `Monoliths´, `Plants´, `Quadrangular shapes on the floor´, `Rocks´, `Rugs´, `Squared TV monitors´, `Stands with hanging elements´, `Things leaning on the wall and the floor´, `Vertical flags´, ´With wheels´ and `Wooden structures´. 

I confronted 36 agents involved in the art world (artists, curators, art critics and historians, gallery directors, institution staff and collectors) from diverse countries with this canon and asked them questions about its possible causes and consequences: Is there a real democratization in the use of digital technologies? Who controls these legitimation devices and how far their influence can reach? What role do the various actors of the art system play in making these decisions?

This research took two independent forms: a video and an installation consisting of a spatial collage of objects and materials loosely representing the various categories. Both are set in relation to a soundtrack with representative reactions from the agents I questioned.

As a continuation of this project, I configured a set of guidelines to be entirely interpreted by the curator/s of the exhibition where the installation is presented in the future.

CREDITS: Installation views of Generación 2015, La Casa Encendida (Madrid, Spain, 2015)
Video stills
Video excerpt; 3´
Installation view of Worlds in Contradiction - Areas of Globalisation, Taxispalais Kunsthalle Tirol (Innsbruck, Austria, 2015) © Rainer Iglar
Installation views of Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia - EKKM (Tallinn, Estonia, 2017) © Paul Kuimet