ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR: NOT NOTHING
Mechelen, organized by M HKA, 03.21.2009 - 06.21.2009
Curator: Edwin Carels

With works by Al and Al, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, Annie Cattrell, Charles Darwin, Edith Dekyndt, Jacobus Johannes de Raedt, Anish Kapoor, Yves Klein, Lea Lagasse, Jürg Lehni & Alex Rich, Gordon Matta-Clark, Jonathan Monk, Joseph Plateau, Quay Brothers, Dominique Somers, Sherridan Stymest, Günther Uecker and
Arnold Floris van Langren.
 



All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is a contemporary art exhibition in the context of the cultural festival City visions in Mechelen, conceived by M HKA. The red thread running through the project is the paradox contained in the notions on materialistic spirituality and spiritual materialism. In five separate chapters the exhibition creators at the 
M HKA explore the complex set of problems around the spiritual status that contemporary art has acquired or might acquire in our 'post-secular' era. 
The title 'All That Is Solid Melts Into Air' refers to a passage in the communist manifesto by Marx and Engels. These are visionary words, as communism itself has evaporated and capitalism has also lost its way. As the same time it questions the secular, in all manner of forms ranging from fundamentalism to New Age. The quotation has inspired the M HKA to create an exhibition that explores what our future space might look like. What will happen when the mist clears? The new awareness of art established by modern art might be a place where one could think about this. The first part of the exhibition, 'Not Nothing', is presented by the curator Edwin Carels. Not Nothing zooms in on the effect on our perceptions of an overmediatized society. What is virtual? What is a level-headed view?
A study of the zero point of perception plays a central role here, resulting in a crystallization of the transient: art which helps us to observe our inner space. The basis for 'Not Nothing' is provided by the stereographic images created by the Belgian professor Joseph Plateau (1808-1883), whose ambition was to present moving pictures. The exhibition was created in close collaboration with the British duo of artists Al and Al. In a blue-key studio they create various virtual worlds with bizarre scenarios that evolve from the extremely minimal to digital baroque.