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Exhibitions 2013

May 18–November 10, 2013
Matthew Day Jackson
Total Accomplishment

An exhibition at the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art Opening: Fri, May 17, 2013, 7 p.m., ZKM_Foyer

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→ The content of the exhibition are partially not recommended
    for children under 12 years

Dear visitors, the exhibition is due to conversion measures in the context of the ARD Radio Play Days only partially accessible until Nov 11, 2013

Matthew Day Jackson (born in Panorama City, California/USA, 1974) is considered one of the most inventive artists of his generation. The work of the New York-based artist is characterized by an interdisciplinary choice of themes that draw on aspects of technology and popular culture, but also of science, philosophy and sport, from the pool of which both fascinating and, at times irritating works emerge. All his work questions firmly established perspectives and negates linear modes of historical explanation.

Through his approach, which combines the relics of artifacts with high-tech materials by means of bricolage methods and reconstructs historical references in relief-like collages, objects begin to emerge which unify both the utopian as well as dystopian elements of a technologized world. At times ironic, the works also render a practice of disclosing the past. Jackson makes his appearance as a trickster and artist-archaeologist who, in his wide-ranging work combines historical events with a fictional search for traces, thus also making his work no less a media-critical reflection. The mythologizing of his self as artist invariably comprises the focus of his work, and sets physicality and the destructive results of human invention in relation to one another.

Jackson’s current interests center on the question of the cultural impact of the atom bomb, the material afterlife of which he weaves together in his works with an artistic debate on the essence and future of the American dream. The exhibition title aptly cites from Paul Virilio’s The Information Bomb (La bombe informatique, Galilée, Paris, 1998), in which the French philosopher decodes the consequences of scientific achievements against the backdrop of information technology. The exhibition brings together installations, pictures, sculptures and videos, the majority of which were especially produced for the exhibition at the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art. Thus, the artist’s new pictorial work presents the myths of the universe and its research alongside events related to the history of nuclear testing, and connects this filmically with the new production of the TV series In Search of..., a 1970s American production that sought answers to historical inconsistencies and paranormal phenomena.

"Matthew Day Jackson. Total Accomplishment" is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Germany. With American cultural history as his point of departure, Jackson approaches the question of the technological occupation of our world from a multiplicity of angles; he critically investigates its influence on individuals and the collective and, by drawing on a diversity of media, thematizes the complexity of Western civilization through dissolving its myths by way of creating new enigmas.

A comprehensive ZKM publication is to appear in conjunction with the exhibition in form of a mid-career oeuvre index, edited by Andreas Beitin and Martin Hartung. With written contributions by Andreas Beitin, Michael Broderick, Graham Burnett, Knut Ebeling, Anne Ellegood, Jerome Friedman, Donatien Grau, Martin Hartung, Caroline A. Jones, Thomas Macho, Jen Mergel, Sally O'Reilly and Paul Virilio

Curators: Andreas Beitin and Martin Hartung

- subject to change -

1. Matthew Day Jackson: "Axis Mundi", 2011, Private Collection, Image courtesy Matthew Day Jackson and Hauser & Wirth, © photo: Franz Wamhof
2. Matthew Day Jackson: Videostill "In Search of...Ghosts", 2011, Courtesy Matthew Day Jackson and Hauser & Wirth, © Matthew Day Jackson
3. Matthew Day Jackson: Videostill "Everything Leads to Another", 2010, Courtesy Matthew Day Jackson and Hauser & Wirth, © Matthew Day Jackson
4. Matthew Day Jackson: "Axis Mundi", 2011, Private Collection, Courtesy Matthew Day Jackson and Hauser & Wirth, © photo: Peter Mallet
5. Matthew Day Jackson: "Study Collection VII", 2011, Installation view "Everything Leads to Another", Hauser & Wirth, London, England, 2011, Private Collection, Courtesy Matthew Day Jackson and Hauser & Wirth, © photo: Peter Mallet
6. Matthew Day Jackson: "FPOTM (Drywall Version)", 2010–2012, David Roberts Collection, London, © photo: Gert Jan van Rooij


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