A monument – from the Latin monere remember; monumentum monument – is an important ‘Memorial of immense dimensions’, a man-made building or work of art. In a narrower sense, monument means a memorial and commemorates an historical personality or event. However, a monument always asserts significance and validity.
Monuments can be found in contemporary art, although Marcel Duchamp radically deconstructed the values of visual art with his Ready-Mades and an broadened concept of sculpture was established in the 1960s at the latest. This challenged the traditional understanding of an artwork as an artefact in favour of procedural approaches that have questioned every dimension of eternal validity.
Sculpture today explores the formal possibilities of the past, while redefining its content for the present. In contrast to then, it focuses today less on a cultural and social revolution, on transcending an artistic canon, but rather on its content and material redefinition. Artistic approaches no longer have to assert themselves as radical breaks with tradition; they are now based on formal investigations of the past, linking these with current experiences and creating works that are sustained by their own sensibility. Artists are concerned with strategies of narration and memory, as well as with the poetry that connects art to the world – as monuments of a fragile present age.
The exhibition Moment.Monument at the Kunst Museum Winterthur presents outstanding contemporary sculptures ranging from Phyllida Barlow (*1944) and Mona Hatoum (*1952) to Simon Starling (*1967), set in the interplay between duration and transience.
Curators: Konrad Bitterli, Lynn Kost