The summer of 2017 is proving to be, art-wise, one of the most varied and intense of recent times. The always attractive Venice Biennale coincides with the double documenta of Kassel and Athens, and with the event where the real business happens: Art Basel. We should here add Münster Skulptur Projekte, the least frequent one (held only every ten years) and also the most experimental, the fifth edition of which, with Britta Peters and Marianne Wagner curating, has of late been receiving more praises than criticisms.
If the original objective of the exhibition created by the now legendary curator Kasper König in 1977 was to present projects that demonstrated all the possibilities and potentials of the sculptural language, this time one could say that sculpture has literally taken the streets, and to the point that the artworks cannot be easily dissociated from the places they have been put up in. The urban fabric, the buildings, and the atmospheres make for labyrinthine routes based on chance or on premeditated searches, in nostalgic remembrance, perhaps, of the Situationist dérive or drift.
Dissolved in public space, the site-specific sculptures, videos, installations, and performances tend to suffer from their very uniqueness. Nevertheless, the critics have spotted exceptional works among the 36 presented, and the show, precisely because of its proximity to architecture and the city, has been causing raves among the general public, in a way that nobody would have expected. Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017 remains on view until 1 October.