In this summers big exhibition, Resistance, Moderna Museet co-operates with
The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition is based on the
MoMA-production: The Path of Resistance, which shows how art has developed
as a political and social force, from the 1960s till today. The American
works are juxtaposed with works from the Moderna Museets collection.
Following World War II, the conquering USA experienced a decade of success
and confidence. The next decade saw an abrupt end to all of this: the
Kennedy murder, the Vietnam war and the icy -cold relation with the eastern
block revealed a gash in the shining metal hull of society. The model state
was shown to be corrupt, chauvinistic and painfully prejudiced.
The socially orientated art of the 60s and 70s had put a focus upon the
message. The images which grew more distinct and poster-like, were often
combined with cogent paroles. But reality changes, as do our concepts of
justice, freedom and the model state. Within politics, the left and
right proved to be difficult measures of social values. During the 80s
and the 90s the Establishment and other power structures were questioned in
a more subtle and less confident mode. The resistance expressed itself more
delicately as reality proved itself to be less concrete and more ethereal.
During the 80s artists began using images derived from mass-culture and
often altered their meaning by employing sophisticated methods. Artists like
Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger took the commercial message of these images
as well as the deeply rooted conceptions of race, gender and class. Using
these, they managed to scrutinise the fabric of society and ruffle the lay
of our hair.
During the 90s the circle is closed and the aesthetic viewpoints of the
post-war era can again be observed. However the messages has been
camouflaged and the roots infiltrated.
Untitled #188, 1989
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Gift of the Dannheisser Foundation
Copyright 1989 Cindy Sherman
Copyright 2001 The Museum of Modern Art, New York