In the span of a short yet exceptionally prolific career, Luxembourgish artist Michel Majerus (1967–2002) transgressed the well-worn rules of painting to capture the influence of digital media and pop culture during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Majerus’s large-scale paintings and installations—characterized by the artist’s ‘sampling’ and collaging of an eclectic repertoire of imagery and text borrowed from art history, video games, commercials, and electronic music—resonate with the rapid expansion of globalized consumer culture and digital technology.
This book collects and preserves the talks and lecture-performances held during a symposium on Majerus at Mudam, the contemporary art museum in Luxembourg. The convening considered the relevance of Majerus’s reflections today and discussed the dimensions of his legacy—investigating his influence on the practices of the digitally native artists, curators, and researchers who came after him.
The symposium was the first chapter of a program dedicated to Majerus’s work at the museum and was followed by the exhibition SINNMASCHINE, curated by Bettina Steinbrügge. Rather than a retrospective, the exhibition examined Majerus’s working methods by displaying never-before-exhibited archival material, including Majerus’s drawings and writings from his expansive collection of notebooks. This publication bridges the exhibition and the symposium’s reflections, featuring images of Majerus’s work and notebooks alongside contributions by Cory Arcangel, Karen Archey, Motoko Ishibashi, Ingrid Luquet-Gad, Clémentine Proby, Fabian Schöneich, Stephanie Seidel, Bettina Steinbrügge, and Sarah Johanna Theurer.
What looks good today may not look good tomorrow: The Legacy of Michel Majerus is the first book in the Mudam Series. This series is an edited collection of interventions, symposiums, and lectures by artists, critics, writers, curators, art historians, and thinkers that have taken place at Mudam, the contemporary art museum in Luxembourg. Each volume is dedicated to a specific artist or theme, following the museum’s exhibition program. The series is meant as a collection of working documents that open up a dialogue beyond institutional walls—a gentle nod to books still being the greatest of meeting places.
Release date: 2024
Edited by Clarisse Fahrtmann, Clémentine Proby and Joel Valabrega
Contributions: Cory Arcangel, Karen Archey, Motoko Ishibashi, Ingrid Luquet-Gad, Clémentine Proby, Fabian Schöneich,Stephanie Seidel, Bettina Steinbrügge, Sarah Johanna Theurer
Designed: Practice for Everyday Life (APFEL)
Publishers: Sternberg Press, Mudam Luxembourg