Everything Can Be Different presents a new trend in contemporary art practice, emphasizing optimism and experimentation. The artists in this exhibition invest in personal relationships as a means of addressing art and society, exploring possibilities rather than difficulties. Art is used here to create something new out of social situations and settings, encouraging us to believe that everything can, indeed, be different.
To counter the current state of information overload, the artists in this exhibition employ conceptual strategies and arrive at object-based or new-media works that are intended to delight and surprise the viewer. While sidestepping two classic approaches—abstract art without political perspective, and work that wrestles explicitly with the economic and political forces of capitalist society—the artists in Everything Can Be Different advance a new approach toward a utopian position. With an inquisitive sensibility for small or banal moments in life, they propose modest alternatives to the norm. When utopias are present, they are in the form of micro-utopias, small and local versions, for the here and now.
Everything Can Be Different brings together well-known and emerging American and European artists. In their work, they either allow the process to shape the result by devising interactive structures, or they reroute expectations by reorganizing existing materials. For instance, Anna Gaskell sets up a parallel story to Alice in Wonderland. With his collection of new games, Carsten Höller provides insights into not-yet-imagined forms of play. Elin Wikström experiments in trust when she invites several women to meet one-on-one with a woman of whom they have no prior knowledge.