Opening 12 SEP, 1—11pm
With: aLifveForms (cared for by J.P. Raether), Jimmy DeSana, Sophia Eisenhut/ Christian Kölbl, Till Gathmann, Oliver Husain/ Kerstin Schroedinger, Jeroen Jacobs, KAYA, Richard Kern/ Lydia Lunch, Jutta Koether, Andreas Langfeld, Deana Lawson, Lee Lozano, N.O. Madski, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Henrik Olesen, Ovartaci, Vika Prokopaviciute, Eran Schaerf, Alina Szapocznikow, Paul Thek, Wu Tsang, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Marianne Wex, Andrea Winkler a.o.
In three ›scenes‹ the exhibition deals with new forms of sensibility and corporeality in the arts. The themes range from discussions of pain, addiction and arousal (scene 1), to the idea of a new digital corporeality (scene 2), to questions of the social shaping of a no-longer subject-centred sensitivity (scene 3).
The exhibition takes its cue from Paul B. Preciado’s biopolitical theory that the form of power in today’s society is ›pharmacopornographic‹: the way humans are subjectivized, he claims, operates on one level via pharmaceuticals (i.e. medicines, hormones, stimulants, tranquilizers, narcotics, etc.). On another level, today’s form of power functions via arousal, meaning not only the porn industry but also other social mechanisms that obey the masturbatory logic of ›arousal – frustration – arousal‹. These regulatory mechanisms are applied to the sensitive flesh in its nervous exposure, sensibility and vulnerability.
The artworks in the show highlight the links between power, illness, sex, excessive sensitivity and art. They focus attention on the involuntary and the obsolete, and question politics of affect-based address. As well as works from the 1960s and 1980s, the exhibition features mainly contemporary work addressing those areas in art and life that are not subject to choice, outside the individual’s scope for action. Frailty, ageing, exhaustion and mortality, but also birth, vulnerability and the capacity for arousal are understood here as phenomena of radical passivity, as an artistic critique of the supposedly governability of corporeal being.
Scene 1 »Aesthetics of Affect: Pain and Arousal« from 11 Sept 2020
Scene 2 »Digital Corporeality: Human-Machine-Sex« from 2 Oct 2020
Scene 3 »Politics of the Flesh: Forming the Body« from 16 Oct
Part of the exhibition will travel to the HGB gallery, Leipzig.
A cooperation project of the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) and the Gesellschaft für künstlerische Forschung in Deutschland (gkfd)
Curatorial team: Kathrin Busch and Ilse Lafer
Curatorial Assistance: Jonas von Lenthe
Financed by joint venture funds from the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.