Life on Mars: Carnegie International 2008

Cao Fei, “My Future is Not a Dream”, 2006, digital c-print. Courtesy of the artist and Lombard-Freid Projects, New York.

The 2008 installment of Carnegie International, the oldest international survey of contemporary art in North America, will explore what it means to be human in the world today. CI08, titled Life on Mars, opens to the public on May 3, though related programs and events are already underway. A four-session lecture series, Approaches to Contemporary Art & the 55th Carnegie International will explore how art has changed in the last 50 years. Two sessions remain on Thursday, April 17 and 25.

CI08 is curated by Douglas Fogle, the Carnegie’s curator of contemporary art. On April 6, Fogle posted the following on the exhibition blog:

“In David Bowie’s song, ‘Life on Mars,’ he sings about a world spinning out of control. Bowie poses the question of whether Mars is a place to escape to, or whether we’re on Mars already, because this world we live in has become so strange and unfamiliar to us. The title [of CI08]–appropriated from the Bowie song…poses a poetic question of longing, and of trying to connect. It relates not only to a literal search for extra-terrestrial life, but also to sending out signals in the dark, and hoping to get a response…Every curator is a product of their particular time, as well as their own personal history. This show is the show I had to do right now.”

The forty emerging and established artists in the exhibition include Mark Bradford (Season 4), Barry McGee, Mike Kelley(both Season 1), Vija Celmins (Season 2), Doug Aitken, Cao Fei, Phil Collins, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Ryan Gander, Thomas Hirschhorn, Sharon Lockhart, Marisa Merz, Noguchi Rika, Thomas Schutte, David Shrigley, Rudolf Stingel, Paul Thek, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Rosemarie Trockel, to name just a few. CI08 closes on January 9, 2009.