Between Two Deaths (Opening)
Fri, May 11, 2007 7 pm CEST, Opening
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).
Organization / Institution
Kulturstiftung des Bundes