'Love' is a theme almost as old as humanity itself: simultaneously complex and trivial, heartbreaking and hackneyed. The question 'Can it be love?' - raised by the (then very young) singer Falco and the actress Desirée Nosbusch thirty years ago in a syrupy '80s duet ('Kann es Liebe sein?') - has inspired the curators Nora Mayr and Gilles Neiens to present positions by artists in search of answers to this important question at the Grimmuseum Berlin. The exhibition regards love in terms of its most elemental definition: the most powerful feeling of attraction which can be felt by one person for another person, for an object or for an idea.
KANN ES LIEBE SEIN? uses select works to reflect upon different aspects of love and to ask how much desire and which yearnings and disappointments we associate with this term. In keeping with its inspiration through Falco and Nosbusch, the exhibition will be shown in the city of Luxembourg and in Vienna after leaving Berlin, and emphasis has deliberately been placed on the positions of artists from Austria and Luxembourg. The exhibited works range from kitschmelodramatic performances to abstract interpretations of the theme to very personal declarations of love. Related phenomena, such as sexuality, intimacy and passion, are also explored. In addition, the curators raise the question of affection and love as facets of art-viewing itself and emphasise the significance of emotion for the perception of art in general. Regardless of the fact that the term 'love' sometimes evokes naive, embarrassing and banal associations, the exhibition takes its theme seriously. Its goal is to encourage a shift in attention away from the intellect and towards the emotions - and thus to provide a more direct experience of art by means of a theme that is important to everyone. The exhibition thus seeks to produce a small space for the affirmation of love, in the sense of Roland Barthes.1
1 Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1978).