Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist
For the summer of 2020 MACRO presents TRACCE / TRACES, an exhibition by Lawrence Weiner produced by the museum to leave its canonical spaces and take place in the sky through a series of aerial banners on the coastline from Ladispoli to Anzio.
The artist Lawrence Weiner is often called the grandfather of conceptual art. Both are terms he rejects and in this simple gesture, a central characteristic of his practice dotting his entire oeuvre is exposed.
As he explains in an interview, he has an actual grandson and feels caring rather than paternal towards the small human. The difference lies in enabling instead of prescribing, to create space for multiplicity instead of outlining limits. And conceptual art, Weiner says, is a term he genuinely doesn’t understand, a term invented by people to have an academic discipline and therefore a legitimisation for an art different from all art before. A tone of disappointment swings through his voice. Seeing art as one of the last resorts of freedom from a world that is explained, organised, boxed and rationalised away, for Weiner art is a discipline that does not need any legitimisation. It is a form of inquiry.
For the tv version of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s project DO IT — an anthology of instructions by artists to enact art — Lawrence Weiner contributes the video below, unsurprisingly refusing to give instructions.