¡Viva la Muerte!

17/10 2007 — 17/2 2008
Museumsquartier / Halle2

¡Viva la Muerte! is an exhibition produced by the Kunsthalle Wien in cooperation with Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Gran Canaria

“Our cult of the dead is a cult of life, as all love thirsty for life longs for death.”

Octavio Paz

¡Viva la Muerte! – the ecstatic festivities celebrating the “Día de los Muertos” in Mexico, the brutal killing rituals of the Colombian drug cartels, the cruelty of Latin
American dictators, and the complex faults of Spanish colonial history raise the question whether people in Latin America have an attitude towards death different from that prevailing in the Northern hemisphere. Nobel Prize winning author Octavio Paz maintains that dying is suppressed in Europe and the USA, while Latin Americans take pleasure in their familiarity with the horrible and have an inclination towards self-extinction: “North Americans seem to consider the world as something that can be perfected, but we regard it as something that can be redeemed.”
¡Viva la Muerte! explores this association of Eros and Thanatos and their reflections in contemporary art. The exhibition presents itself as a theater of cruelty unfolding the various facets of violencia in an aesthetically condensed and conceptually stringent manner:
Cildo Meireles highlights the history of reckless missionary endeavors in a monumental installation of bewitching beauty. And the artist Teresa Margolles, who prefers to search for her material in the morgue, commemorates the anonymous victims, engendered by the Moloch of Mexico City, in provocative assemblages.

Curators: Gerald Matt, Thomas Mießgang

Francis Alÿs, Carlos Amorales, Juan Manuel Echavarría, Ivan Edeza, Regina Jose Galindo, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Daniel Guzmán, Dr. Lakra, Ilan Lieberman, Stephan Lugbauer, Jorge Macchi, Teresa Margolles, Cildo Meireles, Ana Mendieta, Enrique Metinides, Vik Muniz, Gabriel Orozco, Esteban Pastorino, José Alejandro Restrepo, Pedro Reyes, Bastienne Schmidt, Santiago Sierra, Melanie Smith

Guided tours: every Sunday 4 pm