March 13, 2019 - Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden - Psyche and Politics
March 13, 2019

Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden

Jim Shaw, Dream Object (A woman student had sculpted oversized human legs made out of fiberglass which had rough edges to simulate the effect of traps on animals), 2007. Paper, chicken wire, foam, acrylic paint, 138 x 34 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

Psyche and Politics
March 16–June 16, 2019

Opening reception: March 15, 7–11pm

Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
Lichtentaler Allee 8a
76530 Baden-Baden
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +49 7221 30076400
F +49 7221 30076500
info@kunsthalle-baden-baden.de

www.kunsthalle-baden-baden.de
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Psyche and Politics
March 16–June 16, 2019

Opening reception: March 15, 7–11pm

Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
Lichtentaler Allee 8a
76530 Baden-Baden
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +49 7221 30076400
F +49 7221 30076500
info@kunsthalle-baden-baden.de

www.kunsthalle-baden-baden.de
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

To a hitherto unknown extent, social and political processes are coming into contact with people’s most intimate spheres. New structures of communication carry messages and images into our inner worlds, unfiltered and at any moment. This means—and that is also the hypothesis put forward by the exhibition—that the psyche is becoming more and more an arena of the political. In today’s globalized world this phenomenon is not restricted to the Western hemisphere. Quite to the contrary: its effects are universal. The world might be moving more closely together but our interior landscapes, mental images and reactions to external influences are shaped by specific cultures.

The exhibition at Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden examines these constellations and poses the question of how such experiences, which are so different all across the globe, can be made visible through art. The exhibition presents the positions of ten international artists dealing with the perception of the self and its expression in the external world. Against the backdrop of their life experiences in different regions of the world—from the American West Coast over Europe and North Africa to China—they attest both to a global interest in this subject as well as to very different horizons.

And so the "Dream Objects" by Californian artist Jim Shaw (*1952) show steaks, testicles, or women’s legs—subjects which the artist encounters in his dreams and which are then brought into the real world by way of objects and drawings. They are the cultural detritus of his soulscape, shaped by the American West Coast. In her photography, Beijing-born artist Chen Zhe (*1989) explores the limits of her own body. Her images are the result of acts of self-harm: they show wounded limbs, flogged backs, and ruptured blood vessels in the conjunctiva. In Chinese culture the body is considered the temple of the soul and it is strictly taboo to do it any harm—in the Western world, however, committing self-harm is a well-known phenomenon. And then there is French-Algerian artist Kader Attia (*1970), who assembles, in his video installation, people dealing with the mental injuries of our time. In interviews with European and African therapists, historians, imams, priests, psychologists and ethnologists, Attia presents different ways of dealing with trauma and healing. In conversation with these experts it becomes clear that Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis is a Western construct.

These contemporary works are shown alongside selected exhibits from the Prinzhorn Collection in Heidelberg, which collects works by people who have experienced exceptional mental states. These pieces serve as contextual and historical reference points.

Psyche and Politics gathers works by: Kader Attia, Heidi Bucher, Omer Fast, Dan Finsel, Samara Golden, Liz Magic Laser, Jim Shaw, Wang Tuo, Jorinde Voigt, Chen Zhe. With works from the Prinzhorn Collection, created by: Ludwig Berthold, Else Blankenhorn, Minna Köchler, Wilhelm Werner, Hyacinth Freiherr von Wieser.

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