Rirkrit Tiravanija, 2003, urbanTension, museum in progress, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, March/April 2003, large-scale picture
Erik van Lieshout, 2002, urbanTension, museum in progress, central terminal, Rome, Sept./Oct. 2003, large-scale picture
Minerva Cuevas and Erik van Lieshout, 2002, urbanTension, museum in progress, Burgtheater, Oct./Nov. 2002, large-scale picture
Mircea Cantor, My City, 2002, urbanTension, museum in progress, Brussels, Lycée Dachsbeck, Aug. – Dec. 2002, large-scale picture
Ricardo Basbaum, 2002, urbanTension, museum in progress, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Nov. 2002 – Jan. 2003, large-scale picture
"urbanTension" is a series of large scale pictures presented in different sites in the public spaces of Frankfurt, Brussels, Vienna and Rome accompanied by a series of one-page artistic contributions in the Austrian daily newspaper "Der Standard".
As part of the project, five artists – Ricardo Basbaum (Brazil), Mircea Cantor (Romania/France), Minerva Cuevas (Mexico), Jens Haaning (Denmark) and Erik van Lieshout (Netherlands) – were selected by the curators Chris Dercon, Max Hollein, Rita Kersting and Hans-Ulrich Obrist and commissioned to work on socio-politically virulent themes. The results were presented in the form of 10 x 10 metre pictures, one after the other, in selected public places for 2 months each. The large-scale picture series was accompanied by art pages in the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard.
Urban space reveals social conditions by its specific conditions such us its architectural vocabulary, by the forms of transportation and mobility which it allows, by images and texts. Urban Space mirrors the relations of life and power. The "Tension" in terms of an aggressive atmosphere seems to escalate with the increasing privatisation of public space where official supervision, private statements, controlling mechanisms and unpredictable parameters clash together. Regarding the increasing overflow of visual information "urbanTension" raises the question how visual arts deals with this subject if presented in urban space.
"urbanTension" is a museum in progress project in cooperation with the initiative "Kunst gegen Gewalt", Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Austrian Cultural Forum Rome. Media partners: INFOSCREEN, Werbeplakat SORAVIA.