The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) presents Wolfgang Tillmans: Rebuilding the Future, a major exhibition curated by Tillmans, Rachel Thomas, IMMA’s senior curator, and Sarah Glennie, director of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Although the artist’s work has been included in group shows at IMMA, first in 1997 and most recently in What We Call Love: From Surrealism to Now, which featured his work Central Nervous System (2013) as the exhibition poster, this will be Tillmans’s first individual presentation at the museum and his first solo project in Ireland.
Created specially for the galleries at IMMA, Rebuilding the Future expands on the artist’s unique approach—not only to making artworks, but also to the design of exhibitions as a way to develop the experience of the work and amplify a particular perspective. More than one hundred pieces encompassing photography, sound, moving images, and works on paper are being installed with special consideration of the architectural structure and atmosphere of the museum, making full use of the wall space and of relationships between the works in a given room as part of the overall narrative of the show. Tillmans will also show an immersive new sound work, I want to make a film (2018), which engages with concerns about the speed and development of personal technology; the piece debuted in Tillmans’s current solo exhibition at David Zwirner.
Rebuilding the Future has been conceived as an open question for its visitors to interpret. Featuring work that reflects on the subject of time, among other themes, the show continues Tillmans’s inquiry into what it means to create pictures in today’s increasingly image-saturated environment and how to portray a world in flux. "While [photographs] are visually so powerful, convincing, and immediate, there is a lot of symbolic meaning in [their] material fragility," the artist tells Charles Shafaieh in a profile for The Irish Times on the occasion of the exhibition; "There is a very potent contradiction in the very power and presence of a photograph, its vividness and ultimate instability. These very large unframed works [at IMMA] came from an interest in being strong, fragile and vulnerable at the same time, which certainly goes for humans. We are incredibly resilient, strong, inventive, and, at the same time, incredibly vulnerable." Rebuilding the Future follows the artist’s critically acclaimed solo show at Tate Modern last year.
Tillmans’s second solo exhibition at David Zwirner, How likely is it that only I am right in this matter?, is on view at the West 19th Street galleries in New York through October 27, 2018.
Image: Wolfgang Tillmans, Faltenwurf (skylight), 2009 (detail). Courtesy Maureen Paley, London