Go see: The Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, March 6 – May 18th, at the Barbican, London

March 6th, 2008

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Bruce Nauman “My Name as Thought it Were Written on the Surface of the Moon” 1968 via Guardian

For its newest exhibition, the Barbican Centre in London will reopen its art gallery as the Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art. Fictional martian curators picked works by 115 earthling artists including Joseph Beuys, Maurizio Cattelan, Damien Hirst, Bruce Nauman and Andy Warhol.

Barbican reopens as Martian Museum [Times Online]
Martian Museum of Art Exhibition [Guardian]
Martian Museum Art [Independent]
Barbican Website [Barbican]
The works are presented as artifacts as if in an anthropological museum, and interpreted in accompanying texts as such. For example, Warhol’s repeated prints of Chairman Mao are explained as religious icons. Nauman’s My Name as Though it Were Written on the Surface of the Moon is treated as an attempt at interstellar communication.While the “Museum” parodies how Western culture historically presumes to understand and explain other cultures, it also gives visitors a rest from having to read press releases filled with contemporary references and art world jargon in order to understand what they are looking at, and asks them to view the art work through fresh, naive eyes.

On view March 6 – May 18, 2008

More works in the exhibition:

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Sherrie Levine Fountain: 5 1996 via Guardian

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Douglas Gordon Self-portrait as Kurt Cobain, as Andy Warhol, as Myra Hindley, as Marilyn Monroe 1996 via Guardian

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Francis Upritchard Cigarette Necklace 2003 via Guardian


Scott King via MenStyle.com