Everything Can Be Different

  • Andrea Zittel, 13 Uniforms, 1998-2001. Installation view from Art Museum, University of Memphis, 2002.

  • Emese Benczur, Should I Live to Be a Hundred, 1998. Installation view from Art Museum, University of Memphis, 2002.

  • Superflex, Karlskrona2, 1999. Installation view from Art Museum, University of Memphis, 2002.

  • Carsten Höller, Games Which Can Be Played Without Any Materials, such as Dice, Paper, etc. and all Involve the Body or Are Psychological in Nature, 1998. Installation view from Art Museum, University of Memphis, 2002.

Curated by Maria Lind

Everything Can Be Different presents a new trend in contemporary art practice, emphasizing optimism and experimentation. The artists in this exhibition invest in personal relationships as a means of addressing art and society, exploring possibilities rather than difficulties. Art is used here to create something new out of social situations and settings, encouraging us to believe that everything can, indeed, be different.

To counter the current state of information overload, the artists in this exhibition employ conceptual strategies and arrive at object-based or new-media works that are intended to delight and surprise the viewer. While sidestepping two classic approaches—abstract art without political perspective, and work that wrestles explicitly with the economic and political forces of capitalist society—the artists in Everything Can Be Different advance a new approach toward a utopian position. With an inquisitive sensibility for small or banal moments in life, they propose modest alternatives to the norm. When utopias are present, they are in the form of micro-utopias, small and local versions, for the here and now.

Everything Can Be Different brings together well-known and emerging American and European artists. In their work, they either allow the process to shape the result by devising interactive structures, or they reroute expectations by reorganizing existing materials. For instance, Anna Gaskell sets up a parallel story to Alice in Wonderland. With his collection of new games, Carsten Höller provides insights into not-yet-imagined forms of play. Elin Wikström experiments in trust when she invites several women to meet one-on-one with a woman of whom they have no prior knowledge.



Maria Lind

Maria Lind is a curator, writer and educator based in Stockholm. She is the director of Tensta konsthall, Stockholm, and the artistic director of the 11th Gwangju Biennale. She was director of the graduate program, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2008-2010) and director of Iaspis in Stockholm (2005-2007). From 2002-2004 she was the director of Kunstverein München where, together with a curatorial team including the curator Sören Grammel, she ran a program including artists such as Deimantas Narkevicius, Oda Projesi, Annika Eriksson, Bojan Sarcevic, Philippe Parreno and Marion von Osten. From 1997-2001 she was curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, responsible for Moderna Museet Projecs with 29 commissions with among others Simon Starling, Apolonija Sustersic, Koo Jeong-a and Matts Leiderstam, and, in 1998, co-curator of Manifesta 2. She has taught widely since the early 1990s, for example at the Art Academy in Munich and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Currently she is professor of artistic research at the Art Academy in Oslo. She has contributed widely to newspapers, magazines, catalogues and other publications. Among her recent co-edited publications are Contemporary Art and Its Commercial Markets: A Report on Current Conditions and Future Scenarios, Performing the Curatorial: With and Beyond Art, and Art and the F Word: Reflections on the Browning of Europe, all at Sternberg Press. She edited Abstraction as part of MIT’s and Whitechapel Gallery’s series Documents on Contemporary Art. She is the 2009 recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement. In the fall of 2010 Selected Maria Lind Writing was published by Sternberg Press.


touring schedule

Center for the Arts
Escondido, CA, United States
September 14, 2002 - December 8, 2002

Art Museum, University of Memphis
Memphis, TN, United States
March 1, 2002 - April 13, 2002

Jean Paul Slusser Gallery, University of Michigan School of Art and Design
Ann Arbor, MI, United States
September 11, 2001 - November 4, 2001

Maryland Institute College of Art
Baltimore, MD, United States
November 17, 2000 - December 16, 2000

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