12 Rooms

Live art / group exhibition

The joint project "12 Rooms” by the Museum Folkwang and the Ruhr Triennial in Essen was a group exhibition of important works of contemporary live art. The curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach invited artists from five continents to develop pieces which examine the relationship between space, time and the body. Inside twelve “White Cubes”, visitors could view or activate various live situations. The works were performed by dancers, actors or amateurs, who had been instructed by the artists prior to the show. The roles were not always clearly defined, however, as the artists, performers and visitors collaborated in developing the piece together.
The presented live situations by such well-known artists as Marina Abramovic, Simon Fujiwara and Tino Sehgal represented one of the most recent trends in the fine arts. The significance of live performances for museums, biennials and festivals has risen steadily since the start of the 21st century. Due to their ephemeral nature, performances provide an ideal canvas for portraying artwork as an object of consumption in Western market society. Furthermore, live art stands in stark contrast to “digital society”, and thus can be regarded as an important artistic medium of the 21st century.

Curators: Hans Ulrich Obrist (CH), Klaus Biesenbach
Artists: Marina Abramovic (RS), Jennifer Allora (US) and Guillermo Calzadilla (CUB), John Baldessari (US), Maurrizio Cattelan (I), Simon Fujiwara (J), Damien Hirst (GB), Joan Jonas (US), Laura Lima (BR), Roman Ondák (SK), Lucy Raven (US), Tino Sehgal (GB), Santiago Sierra (ES), Xu Zhen (CN)