12 Rooms – Live Art / Group Show. Ruhrtriennale at Museum Folkwang. 17 – 26 August 2012

17 August 2012

With Marina Abramovic´, Allora & Calzadilla, John Baldessari, Simon Fujiwara, Damien Hirst, Joan Jonas, Xavier Le Roy, Laura Lima, Roman Ondák, Lucy Raven, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, Xu Zhen. Curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Ruhrtriennale and Museum Folkwang will be teaming up to present the 12 Rooms exhibition from 17-26 August. For this live-art show, curators Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist have invited 12 international artists to explore the relationship of space, time and body. The result is a total of 12 independent rooms in the main exhibition hall of the new Folkwang building. The museum will be transformed into a stage, the black box of the theatre into a white cube.
Visitors will encounter different situations in each of the 12 Rooms, presented, activated and animated by performers whom the artists have instructed, choreographed and staged accordingly. Each sculpture offers the visitors a direct, intense experience, something that theatre usually prevents with the distance between spectator and stage. Body sculptures and formations arise that take shape before the eyes and in the minds of the viewers. A fleeting glance, a brief chat, a surprising gesture, a disconcerting observation: Each of the 12 Rooms touches the visitor in a different way. Whereby it is entirely up to each visitor to decide whether to stay, to return, and to see what has changed.

Live Art is an immaterial form of art that relies on but a few means: space, voice, body, movement. Interest in historical and contemporary performance has soared in an age in which the concept of the artwork has lost much of its aura. Many artists experiment with new forms of Live Art as a mirror of social phenomena. They thus ingeniously set firm relationships in flux: those of art and the market, of space and time, man and woman, mind and matter. These minimalist works are universally comprehensible and with their directness are at loggerheads with the digital society. At the same time, they find marvellous expressive guises for our permanent temporary and fluid forms of existence in the 21st century. Ruhrtriennale is co-producing 12 Rooms together with the Manchester International Festival, where the exhibition was realised in July 2011 as a group show in progress called 11 Rooms. For the rendition in Essen, some of the pieces have been advanced, others adapted, and new ones included. A Ruhrtriennale coproduction with Manchester International Festival and Manchester Art Gallery presented in collaboration with Museum Folkwang, Essen. The plan is to continue the collaboration with Museum Folkwang in 2013 and 2014.