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A series of exhibitions at the Moderna Museet 2011 – 2017

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Moderna Museet’s Anthropology Series represents something rather unusual in today’s museum world: a rigorous exploration of a well-defined philosophical theme through a series of large-scale exhibitions. The project’s philosophical point of departure: the chapter “Man and his Doubles” in Michel Foucault’s The Order of Things (1966). This is the key section for anyone trying to grasp Foucault’s notion of modernity as a space in which “Man” can appear in relationship to forces from the outside. These forces are Labour, Language, and Life. 

These were the themes for the exhibitions Explosion – Painting as Action (2011), After Babel (2015), and Life Itself (2016). The exhibition trilogy, exploring the triple root of modern humanity, was following by The New Human (2015–17), a complex examination of new forms of subjectivation in today’s political and technological environments. Do we see new forms of subjective life emerge? The advent of a new form of life that, in the words of Gilles Deleuze, ‘is neither God nor man and which, it is hoped, will not prove worse than its two previous forms.’

This forum, edited by Daniel Birnbaum and Ben Livne-Weitzman, presents the Anthropology Series through some of the philosophical texts that form its beginnings as well as through a number of curatorial and artistic statements by some of its protagonists.

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