This fall, MAMCO is organizing the first European retrospective to William Leavitt (born in 1941, Washington, USA), an historic figure of the Los Angeles art scene. Deployed on the entirety of the first floor, this exhibition brings together pieces ranging between 1970 until now. Through his installations, drawings, and paintings, play and sound performances, Leavitt re-examines the production of the Western imaginary, as imposed, since the end of WWII, by the “Hollywood factory.” Through a selection of parts of stage sets, the isolation and recombination of fragments coming from everyday culture, which often conceals a conservative social order and politics, the artist turns these representations inside out: he makes us see them as conceptual frameworks in which stories (fictional ones or from our own lives) can be set.
This show, organized by Lionel Bovier and Julien Fronsacq, is thus an opportunity to go back over several issues in art history, whether it be the 1970s movement of “Narrative Art” or the fictional dimension present in the practice of General Idea, whose exhibition is extended until the beginning of February. Narration is also at the heart of a project devoted to fictional artists by David Lemaire, and the ensemble of works by Adrian Piper and Martha Rosler, respectively brought together by Elise Lammer and Sophie Costes.
This sequence is the third phase of a method of investigation into the art of the past decades, inaugurated by Zeitgeist in spring, and then continued with the series of exhibitions organized around the retrospective of Kelley Walker last summer. In this way, MAMCO has been offering, via a system of nested presentations, a prismatic reading of the artistic movements and debates that have traversed our era. This singular museographical proposition, the result of the collective work of the curators of the MAMCO and its associated curators, is itself set in the heritage of the “global exhibition” concept, which has been prevalent in the museum ever since its opening in the 1990s.
Exhibitions on view until February 4, 2018.
MAMCO’s fourth floor gathers artists’ spaces, two artworks from the museum’s collection, and two new spaces dedicated to archives.
Claude Rutault’s Inventaire gathers the entirety of his definitions/methods. This ensemble, first presented at MAMCO in 1994 is now re-installed following the artist’s wish, and still displays an outside wall allowing for the update of any of the works.
Sarkis’ L’Atelier depuis 19380 is the only environment which still bears witness to the wooden “cabins” that characterized the museum when it first opened. The artist considers this space as a “travel studio” which, once or twice a year, he occupies to resume his work. Surrounding the studio the presentation of other projects from the artist of which the museum keeps an important number in its collection.
These two historical artists’ spaces adjoin rooms dedicated to the Ecart Archives and the Concrete Poetry Cabinet.
The post-Fluxus activities of the Ecart group have found a location for their re-emergence in Geneva, thanks to the HEAD Geneva, the Print Room of the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, and the complicity of John Armleder. They are exhibited through a new operatory mode which allows at once to resume the archives’ inventory work and to update projects from the 1970s. This is the case, for instance, with a Dick Higgins’ score, successively interpreted by the Ecart Group, and today by the museum.
Finally, the Cabinet de poésie concrète (Concrete Poetry Cabinet) is dedicated to an artistic and literary movement which widespreads, since the 1950s, from Europe to South America as well as in Asia. The Cabinet is made of 30’000 artworks and documents brought together by Zona Achives, which under the auspices of Maurizio Nannucci and Gabriele Detterer, is one of the biggest private collection in Europe.
This gathering of artists’ spaces on the fourth floor of the museum is intended both to offer a representation of the singularity of the MAMCO collections—through the emphasis on protocol, score and collaboration with the artist as nodal points of the collection’s politics—, and to allow ephemeral, performative and living forms to find a place in its midst. This articulation between archives, collections and performative formats is also a new museographic proposal.
Sophie Costes worked on the re-deployment of Sarkis’ studio and, with artist Emilie Parendeau, of Rutault’s inventory; Paul Bernard was in charge of the organization of the Concrete Poetry Cabinet; and the Ecart display was organized by Lionel Bovier and David Lemaire.
This summer, the MAMCO is dedicating a major exhibition to American artist Kelley Walker (b. 1969, Columbus, Georgia), in the 1,000 m² of the museum’s first floor. In his work, Kelley Walker uses techniques found in Pop art (such as collage, photography, silkscreen printing) as well as digital tools, to question the current circulation and consumption of images. The project, organized by Fabrice Stroun and Lionel Bovier, strives to summarize one of the most discussed practice today through a retrospective exhibition. His main series are included, in particular the “Black Star Press,” which superimpose silkscreen printed images, previously used by Warhol, to layers of chocolate; the “Rorschach,” fragmented mirrors and homage to the test designed by the famous Swiss psychologist; the “Brick paintings,” mixing brick patterns with information from daily and specialized media; as well as more recent research on the passage from image to object.
This exhibition, echoing Wade Guyton’s one in 2016, is an opportunity to address issues concerning the image and its corporeality in recent art history. “Swiss Pop,” based on a proposal by Samuel Gross, thus opens the third floor and serves as an introduction to one of the first moments in Postwar era of the image’s questioning, both in terms of its auratic unicity and its (mostly industrial) mode of fabrication.
An exhibition of images and photographic projects by Canadian collective General Idea prolong, on the same floor, a reflection on the mediatic and physical versatility of the image within the McLuhanesque society taking shape after the Second World War.
Finally, the addition of works by Cady Noland, Laurie Parsons, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres on the second floor, completes an overview of American practices linked to the “Pictures Generation,” to appropriation, and to politics of representation (Jenny Holzer, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine). It ends a cycle of exhibitions organized by Lionel Bovier aiming at providing an overview of the main stakes shared by a generation of artists that one could call the “last iconologists”: in short, artists for whom the image still possesses weight, presence, and semantic strength—all features that the growing digitalization of the 1990s progressively erased to the benefit, in the 2000s, of an understanding of the image as a “liquid skin,” able to mutate indefinitely, and to be applied on any support.
The Kelley Walker exhibition is supported by Henri Harsch HH SA.
10, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
T +41 22 320 61 22
F +41 22 781 56 81
The Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers is perpendicular to the Avenue du Mail along the Plaine de Plainpalais. The entrance to the museum is situated in the courtyard situated between the rue des Vieux-Grenadiers and the rue Gourgas.
Tram lines 12 and 15, stop at Plainpalais
Bus lines 2 and 19, stop Musée d’ethnographie; line 1, stop at École de médecine
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noon to 6pm
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First Sunday of the month:
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– Free guided tour at 3pm
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Price available on demand
Guided tours are free of charge for all students of Public schools in the Canton of Geneva, as well as visitors from any public organization working in the fields of social, medical, cultural and education welfare based in the Canton of Geneva.
MAMCO opened in 1994 thanks to the perseverance of AMAM (Association pour un musée d’art moderne, now Amis du MAMCO) and the generosity of 8 patrons, who created the FONDATION MAMCO. Pooling together the support of its Founders and, later, its Co-founders, the foundation was the main source of funding and the sole governing body of the museum up until 2005, when it joined forces with the State and City of Geneva to create a public foundation, known as FONDAMCO.
Philippe Bertherat, President
Elvita Alvarez, Vice President
Nadia Keckeis, Vice President
Philippe Bertherat, President
Pierre de Labouchere, Vice President
Amis du MAMCO
Afshan Almassi Sturdza
Jean Marc Annicchiarico
Verena and Rémy Best
Zaza and Philippe Jabre
Christina de Labouchere*
Jean-Léonard de Meuron*
Patricia and Jean-Pierre Michaux
Marine and Claude Robert
Jean-Michel Aaron and Anne-Shelton Aaron* (1999–2011)
Janet and Maurice Dwek (2007–2009)
Céline and Charles Fribourg (2000–2001)
Aline and Christian Gauduel (2011–2015)
Nicole Ghez de Castelnuovo* (2005–2012)
Bénédict Hentsch* (1998–2008)
Famille Latsis (1994–2007)
Renée L’Huillier (1998–2012)
André Marchandise (2009–2011)
Catherine Orci-Darier (2011–2014)
Edmond† and Nadine de Rothschild* (1994–1995)
Lionel Bovier, Directeur
Julien Fronsacq, Conservateur en chef
Françoise Ninghetto, Conservatrice honoraire
Valérie Mallet, Secrétaire générale
Sophie Costes, Conservatrice, en charge de la gestion des collections
Paul Bernard, Conservateur
Thierry Davila, Conservateur, en charge des publications et de la recherche
David Lemaire, Conservateur-adjoint
Fabrice Stroun, Commissaire associé
Garrett Landolt, Relations extérieures et recherche de fonds
Julien Gremaud, Relations avec la presse et communication
Chloë Gouédard, Documentation et diffusion des publications
Alice Malinge, Responsable du Bureau des transmissions
Alexandra Catana, Adjointe au Bureau des transmissions
Julie Cudet, Adjointe au Bureau des transmissions
Cyrille Maillot, Responsable de la régie technique
Filipe Dos Santos, Régisseur
Yann Abrecht, Responsable du service d’accueil
Mathilde Acevedo, Adjointe au service d'accueil
Gaëlle Bertrand, Adjointe au service d’accueil
Antonio Magalhes, Responsable au service de maintenance et sécurité
Maria de Fatima Braganca, Adjointe au service de maintenance
Joana Gomes Da Silva, Adjointe au service de maintenance
Guides conférenciers : Gabrielle Boder, Alan Bogana, Simon Derouin, Jean-Claude Haldi, Lara Netzer, Dominique Page, Francesco Russo
Guides volants : Josse Bailly, Benoît Billotte, Mathias Brügger, Sonia Chanel, Jonas Hermenjat, Anne Hildbrand, Léa Lo Cicero, Paul Paillet, Valérie Portmann
MAMCO is overseen by FONDAMCO, which is made up of FONDATION MAMCO, the Canton, and City of Geneva. FONDAMCO would like to thank all its partners, both public and private, and in particular: JTI and Fondation de Famille Sandoz, as well as Fondation Coromandel, Fondation Lombard Odier, Mirabaud, Fondation Valeria Rossi di Montelera, Fondation de bienfaisance du Groupe Pictet, Richemont, Phillips, and Sotheby’s.
Exhibition Partners: Henri Harsch HH SA, Fondation Leenards, Le Laboratoire
Media Partners: Bolero, Le Temps
Hotel Partners: Hôtel Tiffany, Le Richemond Genève – Dorchester Collection
Partners: Belsol, Café des Bains, La Clé, Payot, ReproSolution, Transports Publics Genevois
Press releases and press kits can be downloaded here. Photographs can be viewed in the pictures catalog. For any high resolution pictures please fill in the form below.
+41 22 320 61 22
William Leavitt, Retrospective
General Idea, Photographs (1969-1982) - extension
Gordon Matta-Clark, Food
Adrian Piper, The Mythic Being
Martha Rosler, House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home
Allen Ruppersberg, The Never Ending Book
- Press Release
- Press Kit
Une collection d'espaces
- Press Release