September 21, 2018 - neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) - TOUCH
September 21, 2018

neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK)

Stephanie Kiwitt, Aanwervingslokaal, 2018. VG Bild-Kunst.

September 29–November 18, 2018

Opening: September 28, 7–11pm, with the performative intervention hosen by Grażyna Roguski
Public program*: November 2–4

neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK)
Oranienstraße 25
10999 Berlin
Facebook / Instagram

Sarah Browne, Ruth Buchanan, Andrea Büttner, Cevdet Erek, Emma Haugh, Christin Kaiser, Robin Kirchner, Stephanie Kiwitt, Luise Marchand, Florian Meisenberg, Julien Prévieux, Barbara Proschak, Grażyna Roguski, Anike Joyce Sadiq, Maja Zimmermann

The exhibition TOUCH centers on the meaning of touch in different contexts: as sensory perception, expression of empathy, physical assault, healing technique, or as a gesture in computer technology. On show are contemporary artistic positions that use touch to expose current contradictions in society.

On the one hand, haptic—supposedly intimate—communication via sensory touch pads is increasingly in use, making touch an essential part of our everyday lives; on the other hand, human beings’ fundamental need to be physically touched is being met by a diversifying spectrum of body work and healing practices that includes touching.

TOUCH interlinks these two realms and investigates how they determine each other. What role does touch play in communication? And how does mediated communication influence our social behaviours and our need for physical contact?
Smartphone users seem to be more accustomed to touching technical devices than human skin. This growing superficiality is generating a desire for sensual stimulation that sometimes seeks fulfilment even in its virtual forms. It is against the backdrop of these developments in society that artists are examining new forms of access to the body.

Negotiating issues of proximity and distance through touch reveals cultural and social attitudes and value systems: for example, constructions of class or gender. Although the sense of touch precedes the sense of sight, the Western world gives little thought to the potential of touch—as compared to that of the visual—as a source of knowledge. Certain feminist and queer theories and artistic positions critique and challenge this tradition. Approaches such as that pursued by the artist VALIE EXPORT in her project Tapp- und Tastkino (Tap and Touch Cinema, 1968) invite discussion of whether the predominance of the visual realm is a consequence or a determinant of patriarchal and colonial power structures established by the West over hundreds of years.


*Public program:

Friday, November 2
7pm: Film Program I "Forms – Indicating" (with films by Lisa Steele, Yvonne Rainer et al.)

Saturday, November 3
2-5pm: Bodywork – Workshop I "Senses, Pleasures, Intimacy" by Federica Fiore (register: touchngbk [​at​]
5-5:30pm: Workshop "#HotPhones – high-tech self-care" by Nadja Buttendorf
6pm: Film Program II "Volatile Proximity" (with films by Melanie Bonajo, Imogen Heath, Laure Prouvost et al.)
8pm: Performance Sex in Public by Emma Haugh
9pm: Artist Talk "Going Deeper – Visual Art, Technology and Queer Desire" with Nadja Buttendorf, Emma Haugh, Imogen Heath, Fiona McGovern

Sunday, November 4, 2018
2-4pm: Bodywork – Workshop II "Touching Breath Bones Tissues" by Johanna Peine (register: touchngbk [​at​]

nGbK project group: Bakri Bakhit, Nadja Quante, Thomas Rustemeyer, Anna Voswinckel, Maja Zimmermann

The exhibition is financed by the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin and supported by Culture Ireland.
The work by Sarah Browne is supported by the Arts Council, Ireland.

neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK)
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