HEART – Herning Museum of Contemporary Art proudly invites you to attend the seventh Socle du Monde Biennale, which takes place between 22 April – 27 August 2017. As in previous years, the Biennale is a tribute to the Italian artist Piero Manzoni (1933-63), the provocateur whose epoch-making work Socle du Monde (Base of the World) from 1961 lends its name to the Biennale. HEART owns the largest public collection of Manzoni works in the world, thanks to the initiative of Danish shirt manufacturer Aage Damgaard (1917-1991), who invited Danish and foreign artists to work on location. With a growing international collection, Damgaard decided to donate the collection to a new museum Herning Art Museum which opened in 1977 .

The 2017 version of Socle du Monde Biennale is subtitled: To challenge the Earth, the Moon, the Sun & the Stars. Not only a tribute to Manzoni, it pays homage to all great artists, before and after, who accepted the challenge of turning our world upside down. Consequently, Socle du Monde 2017 is a new exhibition platform, challenging the artists and coaxing them into experimenting with the past, the present, and the future. “The fact that Manzoni, with his epoch-making residency in Herning, produced art that made world history, obviously begs a gathering up of the past and continuously challenging the future, specifically here in Herning”, says Holger Reenberg, Director at HEART.

The Socle du Monde Biennale is produced by a team of internationally renowned curators headed by Mattijs Visser, founding director ZERO foundation, with curators Olivier Varenne, Jean-Hubert Martin, Daniel Birnbaum and Maria Finders . Assisting the team are Holger Reenberg, director at HEART and founding Director of The Socle du Monde Biennale , the director at Carl-Henning Pedersen & Else Alfelts Museum, Lotte Korshøj and Chief curator at HEART Michael Bank Christoffersen. Each of the 5 curators will create their individual chapter, based on a work by Manzoni, while the ‘outdoor’ chapters with permanent installations will be curated by the complete team.

The exhibition brings together works by no less than 62 artists, including: Agostino Bonalumi, Ana Prvacki, Anders Bonnesen, Anthony Gormly, Armando, Art Barter, Asger Jorn, Belu Simion-Farinaru, Cameron Robbins, Carl-Henning Pedersen, Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, Charles Fréger, Chiharu Shiota, Christian Megert, Conrad Shawcross, Dadamaino, Enrico Castellani, Ernest Mancoba, Eva Steen Christensen, Francois Morellet, Gerhard Von Graevenitz, Gianni Colombo, Günther Uecker, Gutai, Hannah Heilmann, Hans Haacke, Hans Salentin, Heinz Mack, Henk Peeters, Herman Bartels, Herman De Vries, Hermann Goepfert, Hesselholdt & Mejlvang, Ilia & Emilia Kabakov, Jan J. Schoonhoven, Jef Verheyen, Keisuke Matsuura, Kimsooja, Koen Vanmechelen, Lindsay Seers, Lucio Fontana, Mahsa Karimizadeh, Mischa Kuball, Nanda Vigo, Oliver Beer, Oskar Holweck, Otto Piene, Paul Gadegaard, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Piero Manzoni, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Romuald Hazoume, Sadamaso Motonaga, Shen Yuan, Spencer Tunick, Sven Dalsgaard, Tomás Saraceno, Walter Leblanc, Wim Delvoye, Yayoi Kusama, Yves Klein, Zoro Feigl.

The organiser of the Socle du Monde Biennale is HEART -Herning Museum of Contemporary Art. It emerged between art and business and is driven by the spirit of the impassioned shirt manufacturer Aage Damgaard (1917-1991), who created the foundation for the museum collection, now totalling around 2000 works. Herning Art Museum was founded in 1977. In September 2009, the museum opened under a new name, HEART Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, and in a new building designed by the American iconic architect Steven Holl.

Herning, about a one-hour drive from Aarhus and a three-hour drive from Copenhagen, best known for its textile industry in the 1960s, became synonymous with the most progressive of contemporary art. Taking into account the utopian potential of the site in Herning with its specific architecture and parks, the exhibition permits the visitor to explore a special dialogue between nature and culture which is unique in Europe. Today, this site is still a lively platform for a fruitful dialogue between contemporary art and industry.

Socle du Monde Biennale has received generous financial support from AARHUS 2017 – European Capital of Culture 2017.