In the 1980s and early ’90s, the German city of Cologne was one of the most important centers for contemporary art in Europe, if not the world. With its many galleries, artist run-spaces, and artist bars, the city assumed a kind of mythological dimension, a place where artists came to show, sell, socialize, and distinguish themselves and their work on levels symbolic and real.
Bringing together over 25 artists from Cologne, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Berlin, Make Your Own Life explores one of the defining legacies of this time: the privileging of the artist’s life and context as a basis for understanding artistic practice. The open question of how one makes one’s art in relation to a set of communities, histories, market conditions, and social attitudes was at the core of the Cologne scene. It was fiercely debated; dramatized in exaggerated behavior, art works, and exhibitions alike; and it contributed greatly to the impression that Cologne was a place of extreme self-consciousness and audacity.
This exhibition travelled to The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami.
Bernadette CorporationMerlin CarpenterStephan DillemuthMichaela EichwaldFilmgruppe WestAndrea FraserKim GordonGareth JamesMike KelleyMartin KippenbergerJutta KoetherMichael KrebberLouise LawlerHans-Jorg MayerLucy McKenzieChristian Philipp MullerNils NormanAlbert OehlenStephen PrinaJosephine PrydeBlake RayneReena SpaulingsJosef StrauRosemarie TrockelCosima von BoninCharline von HeylChristopher WilliamsChristopher WoolMake 1Make 2Make 3Make 4Make 5