11.01.-26.03.2003 10:00-18:00

Opening: Fr., 10.01.2003, 11.30 Uhr
Curated by: Peter Weibel, Günther Holler-Schuster

On the basis of Freud's famous writings "Civilisation and its Discontents" (1930) and "Why War" (1933) the aim is to put together an exhibition of contemporary art that investigates into why the process of advancing cultural development and civilisation is again interrupted by groups of people, religions or nations prepared to ruthlessly destroy others. After two World Wars in the twentieth century, we have for decades in Europe cherished the illusion that there will be no more chance for wars to arise in future. We are all the more surprised to find that hot spots of war have not only frequently emerged all over the world, but equally so in Europe, and that Europe itself is drawn into - and allows itself to be drawn into - wars time and again.


Based upon these facts we must ask ourselves whether Freud's dictum is in fact still valid: "Whatever makes for cultural development is also working against war. "Can cultural development itself not have inherent aspects that promote a willingness to wage war? Can it be that art itself has not only pacifistic but also military intentions? Can it be that art is not only a platform for humanitarian agendas but also for violence against human beings and for injustice? This exhibition not only intends to provide a very topical synopsis of the critical state of our society but also to present a critical examination of art within this society. In view of the fact that the selected examples not only depict the psychological and social changes brought about by war but also above all the media-based processes involved (war of images, war of information), this exhibition equally contributes to differentiating between crisis, war and art. The crisis of the media and the crisis of society are reflected in the crisis of art.


ISBN: 3-7757-1312-3, Hatje-Cantz Publishers


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