The title of the exhibition was taken from one of the most famous minimalist compositions: Composition 1960 #15 (9:05 AM, December 25) by La Monte Young – a legendary work created based around the concept of a piece that comes together in the imagination of the author and the recipient. Obviously, “little whirlpools in the middle of the ocean” do form naturally, but the phenomenon usually occurs without human participation, which emphasizes their poetic and ephemeral significance. It also makes reference to the aspect of the absence and disappearing of the man.
Minimalism was one of the last movements of the 20th century avant-garde that changed the history of visual arts. Frank Stella’s statement “What you see is what you see” became the motto of minimalists, rejecting the context and emphasizing a “straightforward reading” of an artwork. Learning from this lesson with full consistency, the material work of art was no longer needed. At the same time, it was fetishized, particularly through the commercial sale of minimalist works. Recently, post-minimalist aesthetics has dominated not only the world of art, but also life-style, ranging from design to the populist version of wabi-sabi or zen ‘shortcut’ guides.
Due to a formal and semantic reduction, minimalism has begun to gain relevance in art, especially in the context of the climate crisis and overpopulation of the planet, fatigue caused by information overload, or appreciating the value of mistake and chance as a source of knowledge. The exhibition will therefore present works that may seem far from minimalism, or that criticize the commercial abuse of the aesthetics. The “organizing” point consists of six art pieces by six artists – six chapters of the exhibition, that lexically show several “rules” regulating the “grammar” of works, or that are derived from minimal art.
The exhibition accompanies the Music Design Form Festival 2021, held by Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic Hall in Szczecin and TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art in Szczecin.