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Kestner Gesellschaft presents exhibition program 2023.
When does the century begin? What is its movement, its trajectory? Anabasis is a phantasmagoria and a reverie; it indicates both the moment of embarking and the moment of returning. Upward and back, as the poet says, a re-ascent towards the source. The experience of the beginning and the sense of an end. A simultaneity—a contradiction; a paradox of time. The curve of a return.
From There and Back Again (Paula Rego) through Anabasis (Paul Celan) towards Between Past and Future(Hannah Arendt), these are the meta-narratives conditioned by the poignant imprisonment in the past and the imperative towards “the heart-bright future.” Anabasis is a habitat of a (delusionally unconditional) togetherness: future past as a kind of fraternal alterity; a confluence of legacy and projection: upward and back, a looped perception of time and history, a hyper-avant-garde and post-tradition mythology of the new times to come; a Janus’ story, the schizo-god of beginnings and of gateways, with two sets of eyes, one looking into the past and the other gazing towards the future. By seeing simultaneously what mortals do not see at all, Janus bridges the past with the future and the future with the past; he is the guardian of the trespassing “far out into the unnavigated.”
Spring: March 4–June 4, 2023
Klára Hosnedlová: To Infinity
Klára Hosnedlová (born 1990 in Uherské Hradit, Czech Republic) transforms Kestner Gesellschaft’s organic interiors into labyrinthine interiorities for her first institutional solo show, laboriously modeling spatialities of voyeuristic surfaces—oblique mirrors of humanoid self. Her massive performative sculptures, floating like clouds of opaque substance, are incubators of physical poetry, providing generous habitats for small pictures of a fractured world on the verge of exhaustion. There you have it: the ecosystem of intimacy in a claustrophobic womb of overexposure.
Diedrick Brackens: everything I have ever touched
Brackens’ first solo exhibition in a European art institution. Diedrick Brackens (born 1989 in Mexia, Texas) creates elaborate, handwoven tapestries and textile sculptures that revisit allegory and storytelling through material, autobiography, and the broader topics of African American and queer identity, as well as American history and memory.
Institute of Queer Ecology: Hysteria (Project Space)
Rodrigo Hernández: Flux of Things (Facade)
Gesellschaft: A parasite project by the students of the class Asta Gröting, HBK Braunschweig: Max Bergmann, Aleksandra Saša Jeremić, Charlotte Kremberg, Patryk Kujawa, Luis Kürschner, Eileen Raddatz, Luca Rohringer, Luisa Walther (Future Scenarios)
MJ Harper: Arias for a New World (finissage performance)
Summer: July 8–June 1, 2023
The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor. El Lissitzky: The Self-Portrait as the Kestner Gesellschaft (Group exhibition)
The Kestner Gesellschaft explores the foundational moments of its history and the avant-garde mission through this exhibition. The exhibition El Lissitzky, presented only seven years after the Kestner Gesellschaft’s founding in 1916, was the Russian artist’s very first institutional solo show, marking his groundbreaking position as the announcer of a new vocabulary that revolutionized the formal language of art as well as his role as a constructor of an institutional thinking, based on scientific and experiential perception and an innovative approach to exhibition’s architecture. The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor commemorates the centenary of this exhibition by paying tribute to this significant fact in the Kestner Gesellschaft’s institutional history, a fact that planted a seed for a vast variety of experimental and progressive ideas, which are reflected in the Kestner Gesellschaft’s future program and institutional identity.
Conceived as an institutional self-portrait of a prophetic artist, The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructorconsist of the archival materials and historical positions, set up in a confrontation with the deconstructive and revisionist reading of the modernist paradigm by the contemporary artists. With, amongst others, Fernanda Fragateiro, Florian Pumhösl, BEASTER, Susanne Sachsse, Marysia Lewandowska, and historical works by El Lissitzky, Lajos Kassák, László Moholy-Nagy, László Péri, Kurt Schwitters and many others.
Ella Walker: Scene Paintings (Project Space)
John Wood and Paul Harrison: Some Thing on the Front of a Building (Facade)
Marlena Kudlicka: one more than 1o (Tender Buttons Café Mural)
Paulina Ołowska: Slavic Goddesses and the Ushers (opening performance)
Fall / winter: November 4, 2023–February 4, 2024
Rebecca Ackroyd: Period Drama
Rebecca Ackroyd’s Period Drama is her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany (born 1987 in Cheltenham, UK). Ackroyd’s technique assembles painting and sculptural pieces into dream-like landscapes, exploring wild and domestic places, ruin and contraction, yearning and revulsion. Her work addresses the body, memory, gender, sexuality, and space, which she weaves together into a complex mesh of repeated patterns and symbols, and is rooted in both apocalyptic visions and a sense of realism. She stages encounters with everyday, harmless objects that are immersed in the uncanny and interpreted as vestiges or flashbacks, bridging the gap between the past and the present.
Samson Young: situated listening
Young’s new composition “Variations of 96 Chords in Space” (2023) is at the heart of this exhibition, a complex sequencing of music and images, sometimes ordered, sometimes haphazard, based on the arrangement of notes and sounds in space and time, but also the choreography of “microphones” that “listen” to the sources of these sounds. Samson Young (born in Hong Kong in 1979) is a composer, sound and media artist with a PhD in Music Composition from Princeton University. With a rigorous cross-cultural training in music composition, he weaves a symphony of picture and sound that touches on the reoccurring themes of identity, history, and literature.
Ian Cheng: Untitled (Project Space)
Philippe Parreno: Untitled (Facade) TBC
Casey Spooner (opening performance)
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