When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes

September 13, 2012 to December 01, 2012

When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes takes as its starting point the 1969 exhibition Live In Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (Works – Concepts – Processes – Situations – Information) presented at the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland and curated by Harald Szeemann. When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes includes over 80 international contemporary artists across both the exhibition and catalogue that work within the lineage and language of Conceptual art practices.

Mostly known by its short title, When Attitudes Become Form was an exhibition that brought together new tendencies in the art of its time, known today as post-Minimalism, Arte Povera, Land art and Conceptual art. Although the artists and works included came from diverse points of view, the exhibition did not attempt to assimilate these varying approaches into a singular narrative; rather it allowed the disparities and differences in the artists that were selected to hold and approached these works in terms of a shifting relationship between the artist and artwork, one in which the activity and process of the artist was now prioritized above that of the medium. Szeemann’s own summary of the show’s content was itself lengthy, but it signaled this shift in the relationship of artist, studio and museum: ‘the obvious opposition to form; the high degree of personal and emotional engagement; the pronouncement that certain objects are art, although they have not previously been defined as such; the shift of interest away from the result towards the artistic process; the use of mundane objects; the interaction of work and material; Mother Earth as medium, workplace, the desert as concept.’

Harald Szeemann’s 1969 exhibition has become one of the most legendary shows of the recent past. While the exhibition has since been discussed, researched and examined in a wide range of essays, books and conferences, an investigation into its history and impact has never before been realized in the format of an exhibition. The Wattis’s exhibition will take on the history and the myths around When Attitudes Become Form by bringing together a large group of international contemporary artists that follow, in a number of ways, the legacy of Conceptual art. Just as the original exhibition allowed for a diversity in material approaches, artistic voice, and process, When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes includes a diverse array of contemporary artists who continue to work within a similarly experimental and expansive approach. As When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes considers When Attitudes Become Form as a living past, enlivening and re-imagining its legacy in the current moment, the contemporary artworks will be presented alongside historical documents and representations of Szeemann’s original exhibition.

When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes has been curated by Jens Hoffmann and organized by the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

Artists include:

Zarouhie Abdalian
Pablo Accinelli
Meriç Algün Ringborg
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla
Jonathas de Andrade
Kathryn Andrews
Nazgol Ansarinia
Nicolás Bacal
Christopher Badger
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck
Yto Barrada
Taysir Batniji
James Beckett
Nina Beier
Erick Beltrán
Walead Beshty
Cezary Bodzianowski
Matthew Buckingham
Johanna Calle
Arabella Campbell
Juan Capistran
Mariana Castillo Deball
Etienne Chambaud
Marcelo Cidade
Claire Fontaine
Nicolás Consuegra
Abraham Cruzvillegas
Alexandre da Cunha
Maria Eichhorn
Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset
Cevdet Erek
Annika Eriksson
Lara Favaretto
Aurélien Froment
Simon Fujiwara
Meschac Gaba
Dani Gal
Ryan Gander
Mario Garcia Torres
João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva

Alexander Gutke
Jeppe Hein
Emily Jacir
Maryam Jafri
Alicja Kwade
Luisa Lambri
Adriana Lara
Tim Lee
Mateo López
Renata Lucas
Marie Lund
Kris Martin
Vincent Meessen
Simon Dybbroe Møller
Jonathan Monk
Shahryar Nashat
Roman Ondák
Fernando Ortega
Christodoulos Panayiotou
Nicolás Paris
Pratchaya Phinthong
Amalia Pica
Kirsten Pieroth
Wilfredo Prieto
Pablo Rasgado
Nicolás Robbio
Will Rogan
Pamela Rosenkranz
Fabrice Samyn
Kim Schoenstadt
Tino Sehgal
Sean Snyder
Mark Soo
Mateo Tannatt
Ron Terada
Hank Willis Thomas
Jan Timme
Clarissa Tossin
Guido van der Werve
Natasha Wheat
Akram Zaatari

After its presentation in San Francisco, When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit.

Generous support for When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes provided by C. Ross Sappenfield & Laura Brugger, Robin Wright & Ian Reeves, Laura & Joe Sweeney, the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco and Aeromexico.

Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. General support for the Wattis Institute provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, and the CCA Curator’s Forum

All installation images from When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes were photographed by Johnna Arnold.