Jorge Otero-Pailos: The Ethics of Dust

Museion Modern Art Museum
Exhibition dates: 25 March – 18 September 2022

Museion Passage is an experimental exhibition format that periodically redesigns the space on the ground floor of Museion in order to present works from the museum collection free of charge and independently of the other exhibitions on display. This emphasizes the original concept of the architects who saw the museum as a passage between the historic and modern parts of the city and as a metaphor for prompting an informed dialogue between generations, practitioners and communities.

From 25 March 2022 this space will be taken over by Jorge Otero-Pailos (b. Madrid, 1971), an artist who operates between the worlds of art, architecture and preservation and creates works that address themes of memory and history.

His series The Ethics of Dust is the result of an ongoing, decade-long investigation, based on cleaning dust and the residue of pollution from monuments, such as the Doge’s Palace in Venice, the Houses of Parliament in London and Trajan’s Column at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

In 2008, Otero-Pailos was invited by the Raqs Media Collective (curators of the Bozen-based section of the seventh edition of Manifesta in 2008) to reflect on the meaning of the restoration of the Alumix, an abandoned aluminium factory chosen as the site of the exhibition. His response was to create a monumental installation consisting of 175 latex panels that converted restoration into a work of art.

The museum will display part of the site-specific installation The Ethics of Dust, owned by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano – Alto Adige and loaned to Museion, on which the film of dirt and dust from a wall in the abandoned factory was extracted in 2008. It is a work that presents monuments as powerful agents of cultural connection and invites questions and investigations into the past and how it is understood.

With this installation Museion seeks to reflect on the role and importance of cultural heritage, ask what and why things should be preserved and stimulate an active conversation with the public.

More information can be found here.

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