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Faites vos jeux!

Art and Play since Dada

The exhibition “Faites vos jeux!” presented artists who incorporate structures of play into their work. “Play” means setting up systems of rules, relating to rules and breaking them, testing strategies of action or providing variable scope for action, discovering the secrets of the things around us, creating a parallel world, slipping into different roles, exploring the interplay of chance and necessity in experimental set-ups, opening up a range of possibilities...“Play” is understood by the artists as a strategy.

Öyvind Fahlström, 1970, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

The subject of “play” enjoyed a boom in the art world in 2006. In many places, exhibitions explored the unifying principles of art and play. However, no attempt to set the phenomenon of “play” into a wider art-historical context has been made to date. The exhibition “Faites vos jeux!” followed the assumption that playful thinking and an experimental attitude have been essential aspects of art in the 20th and 21st centuries. In this way it made a fundamental contribution to a new view of the art from this epoch. The approach is necessarily interdisciplinary, and music and film were taken into account alongside the fine arts.

Contributions by
Hans Arp
Gustavo Artigas
Hugo Ball
Hans Bellmer
Alighiero Boetti
Christian Boltanski
Monika Brandmeier
George Brecht
Marcel Broodthaers
John Cage
Alexander Calder
Lygia Clark
Stefan Demary
Marcel Duchamp
Öyvind Fahlström
Robert Filliou
Fischli & Weiss
Raoul Hausmann
Hannah Höch
Carsten Höller
Laurel & Hardy
Zbigniew Libera
Axel Lieber
George Maciunas
René Magritte
Paul McCarthy
Meret Oppenheim
Tony Oursler
Takako Saito
Arnold Schönberg
Kurt Schwitters
Cindy Sherman
Roman Signer
Roland Stratmann
Jean Tinguely
Stephen Wilks
Tomma Wember

Joint works by
Max Ernst/Max Morise/André Masson

Oskar Dominguez/Georges und Germaine Hugnet/Yves und Jeanette Tanguy

Meret Oppenheim/Roberto Lupo/Anna Boetti

Remedios/Adolphe Acker/Georges Mouton/Georges Péret

On an area of about 1400 sqm, “Faites vos jeux!” showed approx. 100 works. Photographs, graphic artworks, objects, sculptures and installations, videos and films were exhibited. The over 100 works came from private and public collections as well as being on loan from the artists themselves.

The presentation was conceived as a travelling exhibition by Dr. Nike Bätzner, an art historian based in Berlin, and was shown in different forms at each exhibition venue: in 2005 at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz and the Akademie der Künste, Berlin; in 2006 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen and subsequently at the Cobra Museum, Amsterdam.