With Virginie Barré, Olivier Blanckart, Stéphane Dafflon, Wim Delvoye, Daniel Firman, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Gianni Motti, Bruno Peinado, Stéphane Sautour, and Roman Signer
Curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler
March 5 – April 26, 2003
Continuing our selections from SI’s archive, this week we take a closer look at EXTRA, a seminal group exhibition held at SI’s 495 Broadway space.
In the announcement for this group exhibition, director and curator Marc-Olivier Wahler asked, “How many extra layers can we graft onto reality before it collapses?” Taking this question as a charge, Virginie Barré, Olivier Blanckart, Stéphane Dafflon, Wim Delvoye, Daniel Firman, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Gianni Motti, Bruno Peinado, Stéphane Sautour, and Roman Signer offered various inquiries into the elasticity of reality and parallel universes. Exhibited works included Peinado’s black Michelin man, Blanckart’s gold-and-white papier-mâché sculpture of the Village People, Delvoye’s tattooed taxidermied pig, and Sautour’s robotic dogs. At the center of the show was Wahler’s interest in recent developments in quantum physics, but he chose not to take a didactic or illustrative approach. Rather, he wished to update the concerns of the art of the nineties, which “had to do with the in-between,” positing that reality is everywhere, even in the virtual and in fiction. “Art does not attempt to develop new worlds or new platforms outside reality,” he wrote. “It constitutes a movement, an energy, a constant oscillation which serves to shake up our interpretive system. It is the pump, which dilates and contracts reality.” A book exploring the folds and layers of the real accompanied the exhibition, with contributions from twenty-five international artists—including Olaf Breuning, Christian Jankowski, Ugo Rondinone, and Jim Shaw—alongside texts by critics and physicists, such as David Deutsch and Seth Lloyd.
Extra, exhibition catalogue
Images: Gianni Motti, Tranquility Base, 2001 and Wim Delvoye, Boris, date unknown, installation view (top). Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Untitled, 1993-4 (bottom).