The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection

The Mori Art Museum presents “The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection
from Saturday, 4 April to Sunday, 5 July, 2009.

Matthew Ritchie


The Mori Art Museum presents “The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection” from Saturday, 4 April to Sunday, 5 July, 2009. The exhibition is realized through collaboration between Mori Art Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, a Vienna based foundation, renowned for its excellence in contemporary art.

The question of “what reality is” seeks out the foundations of human existence and awareness, and has been discussed through religion, philosophy, art, and science in every region of the world. Yet, despite this ongoing inquiry, our daily lives have become conventional, locked into routines and traditional customs, and often we are led by force of habit to view our world from a single-faceted perspective.

“The Kaleidoscopic Eye” includes a selection of works by leading contemporary artists with global reputations, such as Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson, Carsten H ller, and Matthew Ritchie, and Suh Do-Ho. The exhibition explores the disruption of perceptual habits and challenges the ways we experience visual representation. The many large-scale works in the exhibition multiply and interweave in amazingly evocative ways in which imagination, memory, light, reflection, and sound are stimulated in a playful and interactive experience.
The selection of works includes video, sculpture, film, painting, but the core of the exhibition are installations, especially site-specific interventions, a particular strength of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary collection.

In this exhibition, we take in the sensory pleasures of art while examining how the artists have looked at the world in seeking answers to the question of “how we decide what is real.” Using the kaleidoscope as a metaphor, the exhibition questions the limitations of visibility, and acts as a reference to the way the eye and the brain function as a complex system of perception.
The experience overturns our notions of reality and opens up new vistas on a diverse and attractive, kaleidoscopic world.

*23 artists in alphabetical order
John M Armleder, Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson, Tracey Emin, Haris Epaminonda, Cerith Wyn Evans, Guo Fengyi, Florian Hecker, Carsten H ller, Jeppe Hein, Jim Lambie, Los Carpinteros, Sarah Lucas, Sarah Morris, Carsten Nicolai, Paul Pfeiffer, Matthew Ritchie, Hans Schabus, Ritu Sarin / Tenzing Sonam, Suh Do-Ho, Peter Tscherkassky, Klaus Weber, Heimo Zobernig

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (T-B A21), founded in 2002 by Francesca von Habsburg, daughter of the Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (the founder of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid), is committed to supporting the production of contemporary art, actively commissioning and collecting unconventional projects that defy traditional disciplinary boundaries. The more than 450 pieces in its collection include paintings, photographs, installations, and video works. Support is given to the production of art in a variety of formats, including projects that are architectural, site-specific, or performative, keeping the collection firmly in touch with the ever-diversifying languages of contemporary art.

Mori Art Museum