To Exalt the Ephemeral: The (Im)permanent Collection

August 14, 2024–July 6, 2025

To Exalt the Ephemeral: The (Im)permanent Collection draws from BAMPFA’s art and film collections to explore how museums collect, care for, and amplify the work of artists who celebrate ideas of impermanence and cycles of decay and regeneration. The exhibition is inspired by the rich history of experimentation, performance, and non-object-based artistic practices in BAMPFA’s exhibition program, as well as the many conceptual projects, scores, ephemera, and works with alternative art making materials and techniques in the museum’s collections. The exhibition explores how institutions can embrace the work of artists who not only acknowledge, but also exalt the inevitability of impermanence, creating artworks with organic and non-archival materials and without the intention for them to last forever. To Exalt the Ephemeral provides an opportunity to showcase key histories and works in the collection by artists across generations and disciplines, including Nayland Blake, James Lee Byars, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Sarah Charlesworth, Bruce Conner, Imogen Cunningham, Tacita Dean, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Hans Haacke, Eva Hesse, Ando Hiroshige, Sister Corita Kent, Paul Kos, Zoe Leonard, Chiura Obata, Silke Otto-Knapp, Estefania Puerta, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Cecilia Vicuña, Andy Warhol, Martin Wong, and many others.

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