Since its opening in 1994, MAMCO (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Geneva) has developed its own particular innovative museographic modality: working mainly on art since the 1960s, MAMCO has based its action on the principle of the museum as “global exhibition “. In this way, not only the renewed presentations of its permanent collections overlap the temporary exhibitions, but also the management of a “collection of artist spaces” (Groupe ECART, Sarkis, Claude Rutault and a Concrete Poetry Cabinet), together with a continuous examination of the Geneva and Swiss scene. Ultimately, the museum wants to offer historical itineraries through various exhibitions structured around a main project, and which is renewed three times a year. Installed in an abandoned factory, acquired by the City of Geneva, the MAMCO spaces extend over 3,500 square meters, making it, to date, the largest contemporary art museum in Switzerland, a building which also houses the Center for Contemporary Art and other spaces that develop their own independent exhibition programs. MAMCO bases its work on a collection of over 3 thousand works and, in support of its scientific activity, develops a specialized documentation and archive center accessible by appointment, as well as various teaching practices for adults and children.
The persistence of the Covid-19 epidemic and the measures taken to counter the circulation of the virus, have profoundly changed the functioning of the MAMCO since March 2020, which is still forced, even today, to incessantly reorganize and reprogram its activities, so much so that the projects planned for 2020 were spread over the years 2021 and 2022.
With a museum closed to the public, due to the lockdown of these troubled months, the staff was able to proceed with the inventory of the works in the collection, so much so that from July 2020, almost half of the collection has become available for consultation on the website, and from January to summer 2021, the museum (after it has reopened its doors to the public) invites the visitors to rediscover this collection, as part of a physical “inventory” in which all museum curators participated. The exhibition project is divided into collective and historical presentations, also marked by single monographic rooms. Ultimately, the project affirms the role that MAMCO plays in building a collective heritage in Switzerland and how it offers a journey through the artistic movements of the second half of the 20th century, offering new insights and interpretation on facts that are sometimes given too much for granted.
The current project talks about minimal and conceptual art, Fluxus, Body Art, appropriationism of the 70s and 80s, from the inheritance of abstraction and the return to figuration in recent decades, all with modalities and differentiated educational scenarios, in order to create a space for discussion, listening and play around the works on display.
curated by Paul Bernard, Lionel Bovier, Sophie Costes, Julien Fronsacq and Françoise Ninghetto
26.01 – 20.06.2021
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
10, rue des Vieux Grenadiers
All the images refer to the Inventory project, ph courtesy MAMCO; Genève