der schein | glanz, glamour, illusion
The kestnergesellschaft presents the group exhibition »Der Schein | Glanz, Glamour, Illusion«, which is devoted to the significance of brilliance, light, and precious materials in contemporary art. Top-class works by internationally renowned arts such as Joseph Beuys, Damien Hirst, Andreas Gursky, Yayoi Kusama, Sherrie Levine, and Thomas Demand illuminate the ambivalence of the term Schein, which in German means light source and reflection, as well as appearance and illusion. Cooperating partner of the exhibition is enercity.
The ambivalence of appearance can be seen in the selected works, which play with precious materials, reflection, and eternity on the one hand, and with illusion, bedazzlement, and transience on the other. Both aspects are not only historically significant but also present in the spectacle-fixated present. Shiny, reflecting surfaces give an object the appearance of immateriality. The object retreats into the background because of the dominance of the reflection; it dissolves into an apparent nothingness. The historical starting point for the exhibition is Constantin Brâncuşi, who in the early twentieth century errased all traces of the artistic hand from the highly polished surfaces of his sculptures. Aspiring to the perfect quality of industrial products, these reflecting works enter into a constantly changing dialogue with their surroundings and the viewer. Aside from reflection, other aspects of contemporary art such as the suggestion of value, staging, glamour, and fetishization are localized in the phenomenon of appearance.
The occasion for the exhibition »Der Schein | Glanz, Glamour, Illusion« at the kestnergesellschaft are the spectacular finds along the path of the Northern European Gas Pipeline (NEL), the largest archeological project in Lower Saxony, which are on show in the exhibition »In the Golden Section« (August 23, 2013 to March 2, 2014) at the Landesmuseum Hannover. On the 200-kilometer-long stretch of the pipeline through Lower Saxony archaeologists discovered more than 150 unknown settlements and burial grounds – a literal »golden section« through almost 11,000 years of history. The sensational centerpiece of the exhibition is the Gessel Hoard, which is being shown in public for the first time and is one of the largest Bronze Age treasures of gold ever found in Europe. At the same time in the kestnergesellschaft the exhibition »Der Schein | Glanz, Glamour, Illusion« examines the idea of glamour, perfection, and illusion in contemporary art.