The exhibition VIRUS comprises a group show in the Studio, subtle interventions in the Netwerk building and fleeting (inter)actions in the city. The artists involved have been asked to make new work based on the guidelines of the exhibition. Certain artists have also used artefacts, elements or records of existing work as a part of their presentations. A virus can only exist at the grace of a suitable host, although the host is not always immediately aware of its own role as a carrier. In this way, some works in the exhibition have attached themselves to the skin of the city and entered the bloodstream of the art institute.
Bearing in mind Ai Wei Wei’s declaration that artists in a rational social system should have to assume the role of a virus, we have invited six artists to eschew social expectations while reflecting on their artistic ability to directly or indirectly infect a living organism such as our society. For this experiment we have brought together disparate approaches and diverse backgrounds in our selection of artists. A virus can potentially cause serious damage but, on the other hand, it can often be a benign presence. While one artist may clearly be actively engaged with society, another may be causing gleefully absurd disruptions to the social reality, and yet another may be carrying out some benevolent act, it remains quite apparent that similar artistic genes are being expressed across the group.