Talk of the financial crisis is once again front and center. Catastrophes are everywhere. The news resembles reports from the battlefront and the prognoses of dim oracles. Europe is foundering – either foundering or at least threatened with downfall. The economy, the internal unity of Europe and the sovereignty of the individual countries – all of it is toppling, plummeting, already burning. And even greater dangers are brewing right over the horizon.
But despite all this, it seems that panic is not wishing to emerge. Does that mean we are harboring doubts regarding the trustworthiness of the sources and the significance of the numbers? Are we even blind as to the fate looming above us all, a fate that seems to push us to abandon hope with all the apodictic force of Dante’s door to hell?
Or might there be another attitude that can be taken toward the threatening crisis, an attitude that gleans some sense of fascination from the looming downfall? This exhibition, curated by Bjørn Melhus and Johann Nowak, examines such a fascination for downfall. What preconditions and forms does this fascination take? Does it enjoy the downfall itself or its implications? What would those be – perhaps a recognition of the much-trumpeted conditionality of the failing system? But how can fascination be tied up with such an experience of conditionality? The exhibition poses these questions on the basis of the following artworks:
Gary Hill, Incidence of Catastrophe (Video, 1987-1988)
Nezaket Ekici, Atropos (Performance, 2006)
Christian Jankowski, Strip the Auctioneer (Video, 2009)
Andrei Ujica, Out of Present (Dokumentary, 1995)
Shahar Marcus, Leap of Face (Video, 2010)
Friederike Lorenz (Drawings, 2009 - 2012)
A text by Björn Vedder is published to accompany the exhibition.