Gallery Ultracontemporaine 

In the Awareness Muscle Training Center exhibition in Museum Villa Stuck, between the training room and the energy room, there is a mezzanine which houses the Gallery Ultracontemporaine. This space includes newspaper cuttings backed with cardboard and huge blown up images stretched out on the walls. The purpose of the gallery is linked with the artist’s production of new material and deals with Geoffroy’s concept of the Ultracontemporary. 

The term contemporary art refers to art “made in the now” yet covers all art made from the last half of the 20th Century to now. Thus, the art that is presented to the public as modern and new, is actually shown decades after it was made. A large majority of themes present in contemporary art are those on social issues; political activism, feminist and race theory, institutional critique amongst others. Contemporary art is often understood to question the structure of our society; to identify hierarchical discrepancies and what makes up the fabric of inequality. While this is positive in and of itself, it draws a barrier between the public and the issues they are being confronted with. They feel they are made aware by the content but are removed from any personal responsibility to the issues presented and are restricted from actively engaging in the subject matter. 

This is where Geoffroy’s notable slogan “The emergency will replace the contemporary” comes from. Geoffroy’s concept of emergency art comes into play here. It is the artist’s intention to question the common understanding of what contemporary art is. This he does through creating the idea of the ultracontemporary- art that is made in the now, about the now. Emergency art is art dealing with situations that need our attention, issues that are actively harming people in the world today or that will ravage a permanent negative effect on our planet or on humanity in the future. These concepts are intertwined in Geoffroy’s art practice and are present throughout the entirety of this exhibition. This is what gives the mezzanine floor its name, as the Gallery Ultracontemporaine is in constant renewal. During the exhibition, the galleries content will change every day, with Geoffroy swapping out yesterday’s work with new pieces daily. 

These pieces include pictures Geoffroy has taken around Munich, of different cultural intersections and people and things he has observed. Through Geoffroy’s lens the city can be analysed in a different way, the focus shifting from the obvious to the subtle, questioning the relationship between situations and objects seen in the same locations, and what they represent in combination with each other and the context of the city and the times we’re in. There are also pictures included from the exhibition, which then bring different aspects of the exhibition to light from a new angle. The other type of media presented in the gallery are clippings from the daily newspapers of the area, that Geoffroy annotates with his own critique. The purpose is to analyse the content we are being presented in the media, and how and why we are being presented it. Such observations range from the ever present covid-19 reportage, and the absence of information on humanitarian crises such as the famine in Yemen.  Pasted on pieces of cardboard, the clippings individually might seem unassuming, yet together they paint a picture of a newscape consumed with creating an atmosphere of wilful ignorance and subtle manipulation. 

This fits in with the other formats presented in the exhibition, it is all part of the awareness muscle training. Leading on from the training room, the Gallery Ultracontemporaine is a look into the often-unquestioned structure of all we’re surrounded by. The content of the gallery is transferred to the Delay Museum after a day. This system represents a new mode for art output and consumption. Art should be created and presented in the now: now before it’s too late. 

Text by Elena Hansen