HERE AND NOW at Museum Ludwig. Anti-colonial Interventions

Oc­to­ber 8, 2022 – Fe­bruary 5, 2023

Artists: Palo­ma Ay­ala, Pav­el Agui­lar, Daniela Or­tiz, Pau­la Baeza Pail­amil­la

The eighth pro­ject in the ex­hi­bi­tion se­ries HERE AND NOW at Mu­se­um Lud­wig em­barks on an an­ti-colo­nial jour­ney through the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion. To­gether with the artists Daniela Or­tiz (*1985 in Pe­ru), Pau­la Baeza Pail­amil­la (*1988 in Chile), Pav­el Agui­lar (*1989 in Hon­duras), and Palo­ma Ay­ala (*1980 in Mex­i­co), we will take a crit­i­cal and cu­ri­ous look at artis­tic po­si­tions from Latin Amer­i­ca. What Latin Amer­i­can artists are in the col­lec­tion? How do mod­er­nist artist­s—­most of whom are Eu­ro­pean—re­pro­duce the ex­oti­ciz­ing view of the glob­al South? Which works should be crit­i­cal­ly ques­tioned, and which of­fer coun­ter-mod­els?

In her art, Daniela Or­tiz is com­mitt­ed to an an­ti-ra­cist and an­ti-colo­nial dis­course. In her paint­ing she shows her own per­spec­tive on Max Ernst’s The Blessed Vir­gin Chas­tis­es the In­fant Je­sus (1921). Pau­la Baeza Pail­amil­la is a Ma­puche artist and deals with the cul­tu­r­al prac­tices of her in­dige­nous an­ces­tors, among other top­ics. She is in­ter­est­ed in col­lec­tive ac­tions that lo­cate one’s own body po­lit­i­cal­ly, so­cial­ly, and his­tor­i­cal­ly. For the ex­hi­bi­tion, Baeza Pail­amil­la will de­vel­op a per­for­mance and video in­s­tal­la­tion deal­ing with cho­co­late pro­duc­tion. The start­ing point for the found­ing of the mu­se­um in 1976 was a do­na­tion from Peter and Irene Lud­wig, whose for­tune pri­mar­i­ly came from the multi­na­tio­n­al pro­duc­tion and sale of cho­co­late.

The sound artist Pav­el Agui­lar will in­ter­vene in the mu­se­um’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion with sound sculp­tures and in­s­tal­la­tions. The artist Palo­ma Ay­ala will cre­ate clay fig­ures that vis­i­tors can touch, which will be cont­in­u­al­ly ex­pand­ed and al­tered over the course of the ex­hi­bi­tion. In ad­di­tion, a dia­logue with vis­i­tors about what an­ti-colo­nial in­ter­ven­tions could mean will be fos­tered in a spe­cial­ly con­ceived pro­gram of events.

The art­works, which will be scat­tered through­out the mu­se­um, make ex­ist­ing pow­er re­la­tions vis­i­ble. For in­s­tance, Páv­el Agui­lar en­gages with the ex­oti­ciz­ing view of Ex­pres­sion­ist artists and turns it around. A glos­sary and QR codes placed on vari­ous works will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on the long dis­crim­i­na­to­ry his­to­ry of the in­sti­tu­tion of the mu­se­um it­self. At the same time, the ques­tions raised point to­ward the fu­ture: How can we act in an an­ti-colo­nial man­n­er when we op­er­ate within colo­nial struc­tures? Can a mu­se­um with a pre­dom­i­nant­ly white staff be an­ti-colo­nial? Open­ing up to other per­spec­tives can al­so mean giv­ing space to dif­fer­ent forms of knowl­edge—­for in­s­tance, in or­der to dis­cov­er sus­tain­able ways of liv­ing and do­ing busi­ness in har­mony with na­ture.

➤ A glos­sary has been cre­at­ed for the ex­hi­bi­tion that deals with terms that play a role in the ex­hi­bi­tion. It re­fers to top­ics of the mu­se­um as an in­sti­tu­tion. The glos­sary is a work­ing tool that emerged from a spe­cif­ic knowl­edge per­spec­tive and is by no means com­plete. It can be viewed here.

Cu­ra­tor: Joanne Ro­driguez

The ex­hi­bi­tion has re­ceived sub­s­tan­tial sup­port from the HERE AND NOW group of mem­bers of the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst am Mu­se­um Lud­wig e. V. and the Storch Foun­da­tion. Spe­cial thanks al­so go to the Bun­deszen­trale für poli­tische Bil­dung/bpb for gener­ous­ly spon­sor­ing the sup­port­ing pro­gram. We would al­so like to thank Russ­me­dia and the Peter and Irene Lud­wig Foun­da­tion for their sup­port of the ex­hi­bi­tion.