Proliferation of the Sun by Otto Piene Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, 1967. Archiv Otto Piene/ZERO Foundation © Walter Vogel

An Experimental Conference to Challenge the Mid-Summer Sun

Conference with performances, talks and discussions

18.6 2011


AN EXPERIMENTAL CONFERENCE ON ART AND SCIENCE TO CHALLENGE THE MID-SUMMER SUN is the exotic title of an exciting conference with pioneers of late modernism and experts on art history, which will take place both indoors and outdoors at Moderna Museet. The title refers to an exhibition by Gutai in Japan in 1955. The borrowing of this title for the conference is an acknowledgement of the groundbreaking work of this artist group.

The conference is also homage to the 50-year-old exhibition project Motion in Art. The exhibition first took place at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam in 1961, led by the artist Daniel Spoerri, and was shown later that year at Moderna Museet under the auspices of its director Pontus Hultén.

Fredrik Liew, curator at Moderna Museet, has compiled a short retrospective presentation of Motion in Art, opening the same day, and a guided tour of this presentation will be included in the conference programme. There will also be opportunities to meet artists from the legendary artist group ZERO, who participated in the exhibition Motion in Art at the Stedelijk Museum, and to see their works.

Outside the museum, two classic performance works will be shown. In one of these artist and art educator Alessandra di Pisa and a group of young women perform a reenactment of Niki de Saint Phalle’s Shooting Paintings. The other performance is a reenactment of a Cannon Shooting Painting by Shozo Shimamoto, led by the artist. The conference will also feature a reenactment of the performance Proliferation of the Sun by Otto Piene/ZERO and a completely new work by the Swedish artist Anastasia Ax. Sound: Lars Siltberg.

Moreover, there will be presentations and discussions by art historians on the exhibition Motion in Art and on painting as action. The conference serves as a launching pad for an upcoming exhibition, ACTIONpaintingACTION, curated by Magnus af Petersens for Moderna Museet in the summer of 2012: Explosion! Painting as action.

The conference starts at 2 pm and ends when the midsummer sun sets over Stockholm. This is a unique opportunity to meet key figures in late modernism and to see new and historic performance works in real life.


Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, Günther Uecker, Ute Meta Bauer, Julia Robinson, Dorothea von Hantelmann, Ronald Jones, Anastasia Ax, Lars Siltberg, Dieter Jung, Shozo Shimamoto, Fredrik Liew, Daniel Birnbaum and others.

Curatorial team: Magnus af Petersens, Catrin Lundqvist and Tijs Visser



2 pm–10 pm Talks and Performances
ZERO /Gutai/Motion in Art – 50 years

2 pm Outdoors
Reenactment of Shooting paintings by Niki de Sanit Phalle. Activities with youngsters led by Alessandra di Pisa.

2.30 pm Outdoors
Reenactment of Cannon shooting paintings by Shozo Shimamoto

3 pm–4 pm Indoors
Welcome by Daniel Birnbaum
Introduction by curator Fredrik Liew to the exhibition Motion in Art – 50 years

4 pm–4.45 pm The Auditorium
Otto Piene, Heinz Mack and Günther Uecker in conversation with Ute Meta Bauer on Motion in Art

4.45 pm–5.15 pm Coffee break

5.15 pm–6 pm Julia Robinson, Dorothea von Hantelmann and Ronald Jones in conversation on Painting and performance

6 pm Outside the Auditorium
Performance by Anastasia Ax

6.30 pm Dinner

8 pm–8.30 pm Dieter Jung Motion in Space–Space in Motion

8.30 pm–9 pm Reenactment of the performance Proliferation of the Sun by Otto Piene

Short break

9.15 pm–9.30 pm Tijs Visser introduces Shozo Shimamoto/Gutai

9.30 pm–10 pm Reenactment of a performance by Shozo Shimamoto