From 2008 to 2014 Sabine Folie was the director of the Generali Foundation—more than twenty-years after (plus que 20 ans après) the collection and exhibition venue formed in 1988. She helped establish the institution's reputation for generating new critical discussion on contemporary art through revisiting modernism. This survey publication, richly illustrated with photographs and source materials, indexes and contextualizes the works acquired for this definitive collection during Folie's tenure, along with giving insight into how the corresponding exhibitions were curated.
Reviewing the collection's relation to recent art-historical discourse, the essays selected for the publication, written by theorists and artists, reflect on themes in contemporary art including linguistic devices, the dismantling of representation and the reorganization of pictorial space, the changing roles of the artist and the museum throughout modernity, the relationship between the subject and the environment under conditions of globalization and postcolonialism, and the artistic processing of history and the production of memorial culture. Commentary and works are featured by Lothar Baumgarten, Marcel Broodthaers, Ernst Caramelle, Peter Downsbrough, Harun Farocki, Morgan Fisher, Stéphane Mallarmé, Klaus Scherübel, Josef Strau, Ana Torfs, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, and Ian Wallace, among others.
The artworks in the Generali Foundation, some of which have never been exhibited before, are organized here as an exhibition in book form. Moreover, a key focus of both artistic production and the collection during Folie's directorship was on “the book” as work and medium. The book is not only a topical medium that historicizes Conceptual art, but also a means to place the interests of this collection in focus—namely, revisions of modernity in the context of the contemporary proliferation of the reproduced image and modes of display.
Copublished with Generali Foundation, Vienna
Anna Sigrídur Arnar, Christa Blümlinger, Georges Didi-Huberman, Sabine Folie, Rachel Haidu, Tom Holert, Gabriele Mackert, Michael Newman, Elisabeth von Samsonow