Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata, installation view including works by Man Ray, Meret Oppenheim, Maurice Henry, Max Ernst
Courtesy of Fondazione Prada, Ca' Corner della Regina.
Photography by Attilio Marenzano

”The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata”
at Fondazione Prada, Venice

October 31 2012
5:24 PM

For the art historian Peter Bürger, the avant-garde movements of the last century worked to subvert bourgeois « l’art pour l’art » forms maintaining aesthetic autonomy over society. The exhibition “The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata” – a group show curated by Germano Celant, up in Venice until November 25 –focuses on the avant-garde attempts to serialize objects by de-contextualizing them from their conventional use. The exhibition gathers many works produced since the beginning of 1920s till the late 1960s that offer a large documentation of this golden age of avant-garde production.

The show’s undisputed protagonist is the physical object: it is assembled, carved, painted, signed, and repeated in series, often as part of a factory production. Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel and Fountain are located in the middle of the main room, like the beating heart of the show. Such names as Beuys, Arman, Yoko Ono, Vostell, and Broodthaers, Manzoni and Dan Graham are placed against the Pop production of Richard Hamilton and Andy Warhol. Clear everywhere in the exhibition is the importance of the multiplicated object as the result of technological progress, made accessible thanks to capillary modes of distribution. This careful and detailed exhibition is being supplemented with a program of performances and concerts in occasion of the 50th anniversary of Fluxus. (Chiara Nuzzi)