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Symposium | what looks good today may not look good tomorrow: The Legacy of Michel Majerus


Mudam Auditorium
In partnership with

Luxembourg Art Week



Through a series of talks and lecture-performances followed by a panel discussion, the symposium investigates the influence of Michel Majerus’s (b. 1967, Esch-sur-Alzette – d. 2002, Niederanven) work on the practice of the ‘digital-native’ generation of artists, curators and researchers. International speakers working in and researching the field of visual arts will address the relevance of Majerus’s reflections today, while discussing different aspects of his legacy.

In the span of a short yet exceptionally prolific career, Majerus has captured his time, decades marked by the expansion of globalised consumer culture and digital technology. His large-scale paintings and installations, characterised by the ‘sampling’ and collaging of an eclectic repertoire of imagery and text borrowed from art history, video games, commercials or electronic music resonate with the image and information frenzy of the Web 2.0 pervading contemporary society. In his work, Majerus transgressed the well-worn rules of painting and created unmistakable interpretations of the pop culture of the 1990s and early 2000s that remain of unfailing relevance today.

The symposium what looks good today may not look good tomorrow: The Legacy of Michel Majerus is the first chapter of a programme dedicated to the work of Michel Majerus and will be followed in Spring 2023 by an exhibition at Mudam and a publication gathering the contributions to the symposium.

With Cory Arcangel, Karen Archey, Motoko Ishibashi, Ingrid Luquet-Gad, Fabian Schöneich and Sarah Johanna Theurer.


09h30–10h00: Welcome, breakfast served in the Foyer
10h00–10h15: Bettina Steinbrügge, introduction
10h15–11h00: Karen Archey, talk + Q&A
11h00–11h45: Sarah Johanna Theurer, talk + Q&A
11h45–12h00: Break
12h00–12h45: Ingrid Luquet-Gad, talk + Q&A
12h45–14h00: Lunch break and free tour of the exhibitions
14h00–14h45: Fabian Schöneich, talk + Q&A
14h45–15h30: Cory Arcangel, lecture-performance
15h30–15h45: Break
15h45–17h00: Panel discussion and Q&A, moderated by Bettina Steinbrügge
17h00: Drinks in the Café

*Performances by Motoko Ishibashi will take place throughout the day


Cory Arcangel (b. 1978, Buffalo, New York) is an artist, composer, curator, and entrepreneur living and working in Stavanger, Norway. Arcangel explores the potential and failures of old and new technologies, highlighting their obsolescence, humour, aesthetic attributes and, at times, eerie influence in contemporary life. Applying a semi-archeological methodology, his practice explores, encodes and hacks the structural language of video games, software, social media and machine learning, treating them as subject matter and medium. Using his essay ‘new comer’ (published as part of Michel Majerus 2022, (DCV, Berlin)) as a guide, Cory Arcangel will discuss Majerus’s work using two key encounters – one IRL and another virtual. The first encounter discussed is Majerus’ exhibition Leuchtland which Arcangel saw at Petzel Gallery in 2001 at 537 W 22nd Street, New York. The second encounter is Majerus’ painting Ohne Titel (2000) which floated (without caption) into Arcangel’s feed in 2014 on Instagram. These two encounters, seen through the lens of Arcangel’s own non-linear journey from composition student to contemporary artist, will be used to think about Majerus’ formal and conceptual position which Arcangel argues expand well beyond his reputation as a ‘painter’. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2015); Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland (2014); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2012); Whitney Museum, New York (2011); Barbican Art Center, London (2011) and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010).

Karen Archey is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Formerly based in Berlin and New York, Archey worked as an independent curator, editor and art critic, writing for publications such as Artforum and frieze. At the Stedelijk, Archey cares for the contemporary art and time-based media collections and administrates the contemporary permanent collection display Tomorrow is a Different Day. She has organised major exhibitions on artists Hito Steyerl, Rineke Dijkstra and Metahaven, as well as the group exhibition Freedom of Movement: the 2018 Municipal Art Acquisitions. She heads the museum’s research initiative on the acquisition, conservation and display of time-based media.

Motoko Ishibashi (b. 1987 Nagasaki, Japan) received her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 2015, her BFA in Painting at Slade School of Fine Art, London in 2013 (with First Class Honours) and a BA in Aesthetics and Science of Arts: Philosophy at Keio University, Tokyo in 2010. Focused predominantly on painting, Ishibashi’s practice amalgamates Western and Japanese visual languages through painting, performance, installation, video, photography and printmaking. Engaging with mass consumer culture as well as digital cultures, her work considers relations of power, gender, the body and selfhood within technologically-mediated society. Ishibashi’s work has appeared in the following recent exhibitions, some of which she was also involved in curating: COPE, no gallery, New York (2022); Beginning of the end, Schwabinggrad, Munich (2021); Assholes, V.O curations, London (2021); Agitations: stirred portraits at Courtyard Hiroo, Tokyo (2020); The Sound of Rhubarb, Lady Helen, London (2019), Rachel Is at Pact, Paris (2019), Seraphîta, Polansky Gallery, Prague (2018), and 2:00, Fig., Tokyo (2018).

Ingrid Luquet-Gad is an art critic based in Paris. She is the arts editor of Les Inrockuptibles, a contributing editor to Spike Art Magazine and a correspondent for Flash Art. As a doctoral candidate in Arts, Aesthetics and Science of Art at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Media Theory at Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint Denis, her research centres on strategies of artistic autonomy during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Her writings explore the ontological and epistemological transformations brought about by new technologies, as reflected in the mirror held up by artists to the present times.

Fabian Schöneich (b. 1985, Gera) is the founder and director of CCA Berlin – Center for Contemporary Arts. He was curator of Portikus in Frankfurt (2014–18) where he realized numerous solo and group exhibitions, among others with Minouk Lim, Otobong Nkanga, Ade Darmawan, Jana Euler, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Amy Sillman. He worked as an assistant curator at Kunsthalle Basel and Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art) in Rotterdam. He curated the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Liste Art Fair Basel performance project, featuring Adam Linder, Alex Baczyński-Jenkins, Michael Dean, Anne Imhof, Ligia Lewis, among others. From 2015 to 2017 he worked as a consultant for the Focus, Frame and Live sections of the art fair Frieze in London and New York. Schöneich is the editor of numerous publications and monographs. He studied art history at the University of Zurich.

Sarah Johanna Theurer is a curator and writer focusing on time-based art practices and techno-social entanglements. She works as curator at Haus der Kunst in Munich where she has conceived symposia and commissioned numerous performances with artists like Isabel Lewis and Christelle Oyiri and new works by Carsten Nicolai and Jenna Sutela. Together with Andrea Lissoni, she co-curated a major retrospective on Fujiko Nakaya and co-edited the comprehensive publication on the artist. Theurer has previously worked at the 9th Berlin Biennale and transmediale Berlin and acted as a dramaturg with performance groups like OMSK Social Club and The Agency.