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"Once Upon a Time” at the Deutsche Guggenheim

July 8 - Oct 9, 2011 │ Berlin

Important video artworks from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum exploring the rich tradition of fables, myths, and fairytales.

Fables, myths, and fairy tales have long allowed cultures to consider and appreciate the more wondrous aspects of the human condition. Today, visual artists are increasingly drawn to these traditions as storytelling becomes a distinctive strategy to address real experience with an aspiration for change.

The selection of video works by Francis Alÿs, Cao Fei, Pierre Huyghe, Aleksandra Mir, Mika Rottenberg, and Janaina Tschäpe, drawn from the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, moves beyond childhood fantasies of good and evil, talking beasts, and elves and witches to examine more nuanced concerns addressed in allegorical terms by six contemporary artists. Narratives are implied but often left open-ended so that the viewer’s imagination can shape them to suit his or her own dreams and desires, be it to express one’s creativity in the workplace, for one’s tears to have generative powers, to walk on the moon, or to effect political change with the most insignificant of acts.

While the artworks may not follow the typical format of a modern literary fairy tale by encapsulating a moral or lesson, each work leaves the viewer subtly altered by the possibilities for transformation of human, political, and social conditions.

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Aleksandra Mir - First Woman on the Moon, 1999. Color video with sound, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

Aleksandra Mir - First Woman on the Moon, 1999. Color video with sound, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

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