Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Solo exhibition.
The American artist Matthew Weinstein (born in 1964) transformed Room 21 of the Pinakothek der Moderne into a transcultural Garden of Eden. Sand, sails and frisbees take center stage in this contemporary global dream, where the museum-goer enters “Venice Beach”, a feel-good, easy-going haven for all occidental urban neurotics. This leisure-wear paradise, fashioned from a digital universe, makes every metamorphosis possible: from Adam’s apple to the “Big Apple” and a golden frisbee. What counts is the rush of unleashed opportunity: the perfect body, eternal youth, boundless communication and a deep-seated belief in high-tech that is as potent as exotic talismans and well-placed acupuncture needles. Weinstein dismantles the enticing pretence of fetishism and encourages a critical analysis vis-à-vis the theater of goods and imagination that lies precisely on the border between the necessity for belief and superstition. And as Weinstein’s vision reveals, this superficial craving makes for a joy-ride downwards into our collective cultural history. After all, what is it that separates the search for gold in Miami Beach or the Big Apple from the passion of repeatedly erecting idols, like the Golden Calf, around which we gladly dance? Nothing -- as they are all “Universal Pictures”.