8 May to 13 July 2013
Do we live in a period of change? If so, do we try to give a direction, or would we just wait on selfsame without knowing where we should go, or should we try to avoid changes as much as possible?
Are there after Fukushima, amid a financial and a crisis of values, before a possibly imminent eco-crisis a willingness to a both individual and collective departure in the European countries? Is there a possibility to bring new ideas into the society, where they could be lived in the future. And where and who are the people and who would be able to carry forward positively changes? How about making sure that such renewals remain humane?
The currently most certain start into new structures happened since the beginning of 2011 in North Africa, Arab countries and Syria. Mostly young people there have spawned movements that have broken with the past and present of their countries. They create the pressure of the street and bring decades of established and repressive regimes to collapse.
By contrast, the Occupy movement in the West appears as lukewarm and now slowly passing by breeze, as somewhere repeating from Attac, anti-globalization and other previous media events.
The environmental movement got by the nuclear disaster in Fukushima briefly new momentum. Where has it gone? Perhaps most importantly, the discourse on sustainability apparently returned to more quality and quantity.
And the art? The contemporary art is currently being perceived as very political. Thereover are a lot of controversy and debate. But art, as well as the art system, is also just part of our relationships, therefore, should not be surprising about different perceptions and tangible conflicts of interest.
What special types and forms of departures, of starts, of breakups, of cracks will we focus on our activities?
Just now we cannot really answer our own question. The desired voltages exist between the changes in the life of the individual and the existing societies, between constructive and destructive upheavals. The works of art that should reflect this field will be prepared chiefly and especially for this project.
What is the subversive and what the productive part of these breakups? Put it another way, under what conditions will they become subversive and when productive? When we sleep, we set off in a dream world, their experience can expand our being and consciousness. The sleep of reason brings forth but, after Goya, monster.
Atlas and path marker for the exhibition is the painting and special scenes from Embarkation for Cythera by Jean-Antoine Watteau from 1718 (oil / canvas, 130x192cm, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin).
It will work for the exhibition as a map of the inner as well as outer upheaval. It also shows the tension between the individual and the group, as well as different goals of people, who seemingly start together into an uncertain future.
Shown in the picture is a situation whose ambiguity, whose floating instability is almost camouflaged by the seemingly conventional surface. The artist claims that he depicts in the style of a gallant feast the departure of various, apparently well-off love couples to the island of love, Kythera. It really is not a departure shown, but the image is readable as a representation of the phases of such. Even to the theses of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross about stages of dying, there are analogies. If we read the image in this sense, the island in the distance, would be the island of the dead. Furthermore, it is not even entirely clear whether the departure is meant to or from Kythera.
Zbynek Baladrán, Prag (CZ) | Aram Bartholl, Berlin | Franca Bartholomäi, Halle | Till Ansgar Baumhauer, Dresden | Ondrej Brody & Kristofer Paetau, Prag, Helsinki (CZ, FIN) | Gregory Buchert, Lyon (F) | Maria Bussmann, Wien (AT) | Chto Delat, St. Petersburg, Moskau (RU) | Ayelen Coccoz, Buenos Aires (AR) | Ulrike Gärtner, Dresden | Göran Gnaudschun, Potsdam | Arti Grabowski, Krakow (PL) | Igor Grubic, Zagreb (HR) | Eberhard Havekost, Berlin | Martin Kippenberger/ Walter Dahn, Köln | Friedl Kubelka, Wien (AT) | Heimo Lattner, Berlin | Eduardo Molinari, Buenos Aires (AR) | Pavel Mrkus, Rumburk (CZ) | Stefan Nestler, Dresden | Laura Pawela, Warschau (PL) | The Trailblazers (Mircea Nicolae, Stefan Tiron and Larisa Sitar), Bukarest (RO) | Ute Richter, Leipzig | Jürgen Schön, Dresden | Société Réaliste, Paris (F) | Jirí Suruvka, Ostrava (CZ) | Sus Zwick & Muda Mathis (CH)