Gallery Baton is pleased to present “A Little After The Millennium”, a group exhibition by six contemporary artists who are internationally acclaimed: Liam Gillick (b.1964), Rebecca Warren (b.1965), Markus Amm (b.1969), Philippe Parreno (b.1964), Anne Collier (b.1970), and Tobias Rehberger (b.1966) from October 20th to November 20th. The exhibition began with the fundamental question of “Why does art exist?” in a situation where human lifestyle and social systems are threatened by the pandemic. Through a selection of works by the artists who have been at the forefront of the international art scene and broadened the horizons of contemporary art, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of the existence of art to each of us at this point.
The Millennium promised us an uncertain future. Today the social anxiety caused by the ‘Millennium Bug’, has returned in a real viral form. In those days we heard warnings, but also saw signs of imminent dystopia that have proved enduring. Global heating and the emergence of AI have become a stubborn presence. At the same time, advances in technology and the various potential benefits derived from it have quietly moved along. Ease of high-speed transportation, gradual liberation from repetitive manual labour, and a dream of longevity through self-discipline has been on our minds and have been fed by the catchphrases of multinational companies.
Exactly 20 years later, where are we? In some places we still cannot go out without a mask. We are getting used to various administrative orders that control our behaviour, and freedom of movement between countries remains limited.
The fear and uncertainty of a Pandemic in the hyper-connected society continues to expand and reproduce across borders. All this is complicated by the protests and new hopes that pervade the West.
This inevitably highlights the existence and function of art. When life as a reality, which seemed to be accelerating, was put under a state crisis and uncertainty, we began to reflect on our own existence as finite beings. When the wheel of daily life halts, we begin to indulge in new things to fill the void, and in particular, a latent thirst for art and the desire to understand and reflect on its use.
Artists twist and reinterpret conventions and institutions, and want to endlessly deterritorialize in relation to systems. Artworks are the projections that visually or sensuously reflect artists inner desires, doubts and questions. We sense artists feelings through the way they embed their desires and questions in their work. We experience the illusions that they have conjured and the ideas that are layered in their artworks. We can find new forms of rhizomic reflection by experiencing an exhibition occupied by the works made by very different artists all drawn together by their unique perspectives upon unique existences.
“A Little After The Millennium”. This is a reflection upon over twenty years of art by artists who all emerged around the year 2000 and each of them offers a unique perspective on what art could have been and what it has become. In a time of crisis we might be able to perceive a “real” post-modernism - a creative collage of self-awareness - through the works of artists who have always been aware of the instability meaning yet continue to seek truth and beauty through the fog of uncertainty.