Quand les attitudes deviennent formes
By Laure Ball

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.

There are many landmark exhibitions in art history of which contemporaries and historians afterwards repeat for centuries that they changed everything. It is true of only a few, and Harald Szeemann’s When Attitudes Become Form: Works, Concepts, Processes, Situations, Information is one of them for multiple reasons. Firstly, it was the first exhibition composed of works and of gestures in both material and immaterial form (later sequelled in many senses by François Lyotard’s 1985 exhibition Les Immatériaux at Centre Pompidou).


Secondly, it was the first time for a curator to be and act independent, to make his own program without affiliation rather than staying within the confines of an institution. Thirdly, being sponsored by Phillip Morris, back then without any major public outcry, the event set the precedent for corporate arts funding. Lastly, because most of the artists who exhibited work there followed the attitudes they had back then with a rigour that renders their work legendary. Just as Lawrence Weiner and Michel Heizer who appear in the excerpt below.


The young Lawrence, with a beer in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth, narrates his piece of work A 36” X 36” REMOVAL TO THE LATHING OR SUPPORT WALL OF PLASTER OR WALLBOARD FROM A WALL to an audibly confused reporter in Laure Ball’s documentary originally made for the French public.