Goshka Macuga’s new sculptural series, International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, which was on view at the Fondazione Prada in Milan and the Schinkel Pavilion in Berlin, has been expanded to vase portraits made of various materials and is now exhibited for the first time in its entirety in Munich.
Taking a correspondence between Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud from 1931 as a starting point and taking inspiration from the League of Nations and the International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, which aimed to facilitate the cultural and intellectual exchange among scientists, researchers, teachers, artists, and other intellectuals, Goshka Macuga picks up on the idea of intellectual cooperation. Alongside an enormous concrete pavilion that served as an open forum and a real platform for intellectual exchange about current topics, the new vase sculptures were created as a reference not only to the different protagonists at the time but also to people that were hypothetically involved in the discussion. Viewers are confronted with a portrait of Albert Einstein, sporting a sprawling briary of manifested thought, and Freud, on whose head the same thing sprouts. Karl Marx is also present, in the form of a rubber head, granting a glance at his still-proliferating ideas. The vase portraits of intellectuals from various historical eras challenge us to confront them, evoking rhetoric strategies from Antiquity and the Renaissance.
Goshka Macuga was born in 1967 in Warsaw, Poland, and lives and works in London. Her solo exhibitions include „Now this, is this the end … the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?” at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2016); „Goshka Macuga“, New Museum, New York (2016) “To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll” at Fondazione Prada, Milan (2016); “Public Address: Goshka Macuga Tapestries” at Lunds konsthall, Lund, Sweden (2014); “Exhibit, A” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2012); “Untitled” at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2011); “It Broke from Within” at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2011); “The Nature of the Beast” at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); and “I am Become Death” at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2009). Macuga’s work was recently included in the 8th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2014); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany, and Kabul, Afghanistan (2012); “Fare Mondi/Making Worlds,” at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); and in the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2008). Goshka Macuga was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2008.