Between Two Deaths
Exhibition view "Between two Deaths"
Sat, May 12, 2007 – Sun, August 19, 2007

From May 12 to August 19, 2007 ZKM | Karlsruhe will present an exhitibion curated by Ellen Blumenstein and Felix Ensslin. It will show a critical artistic reflection on the political, social, and cultural trend toward melancholic retrospection. The effects can be felt everywhere: in the expressions of conservative nostalgia, as well as in the social moods of stagnation, depression and anxiety. Boundless pessismism on the one side, state-ordered or self-help optimism on the other seem to be the general call.

In this situation contemporary art is thus read often as an enigmatic answer to a life that is always already traumatic or -with relief- there is talk of the »return of the romantic« understood as sentimentality and avoidance of politics. The positions gathered in »zwischen zwei toden / between two deaths« counter this interpretation by showing the current »melancholic« state of subjectivity as a figure that can be fragmented, crossed and passed through.

»zwischen zwei toden / between two deaths« shows positions that do not get stuck in the situation of the “exhausted self” (Ehrenberg) or with the “new maladies of the soul” (Kristeva). Each work interrogates the starting point of anxiety and stagnation, thus not denying the diagnosis. But beyond this, the artists reach with and through their work the zone »zwischen zwei toden / between two deaths« from where to critique the present and ask the question: What comes after? If people today find themselves in this zone, then art assembled here shows that in this »land of zombies« there lies an “emancipatory potential” (Žižek).

Exhibitions team

Martin Häberle (technical project management)
Christiane Ostertag (technical project management)
Thomas Thiel (project management)

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Medienmuseum

Kulturstiftung des Bundes ; German Federal Cultural Foundation ; Landesbank Baden-Württemberg ; EnBW, DE:BUG ; Stadt Karlsruhe, Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg