Rip It Up and Start Again was the third part of an exhibition triad by the Kunstverein München which has increased the public awareness concerning the mechanisms of exclusion in the art market. Following exhibitions on queer identity politics and the British post-punk era, the third exhibition featured five New York artists who have been largely ignored by the art market and are practically unknown to the general public. William S. Burroughs, Charles Henri Ford, Ray Johnson, Arthur Russel and Philippe Thomas have received little attention in art-historical discussion, even though they all produced an oeuvre of formidable size. As art-market outsiders, they sometimes enjoyed cult status in New York. Today these artists are regarded as leading pioneers of contemporary "Visual Cultural Studies".
Based on a selection of works, the exhibition curator Stefan Kalmár demonstrated the dialectic between subculture and the art industry by demonstrating how these outsiders influenced international contemporary trends with their artistic positions. The exhibition also analyzed the mechanisms of the "operating system of art" which determines the artists' success or failure. The exhibition and accompanying film programme and public lectures introduced the five New York artists to a wider audience in Germany. After its presentation in Munich, the exhibition went on display at the Artists Space in New York.
Artistic director: Stefan Kalmár
William S. Burroughs by John Giorno
Charles Henri Ford by Christopher Müller
Ray Johnson by AA Bronson
readymades belong to everyone by Claire Fontaine
Arthur Russell by James Thomas
Venues and schedule:
Kunstverein München, 10 October - 22 November 2009
Artists Space, New York, 10 April - 16 May 2010