April 10, 2014 - Kunstpalais - Affekte / Affects
April 10, 2014

Affekte / Affects

Ryan Trecartin, K-Corea INC.K (section a) (still), 2009. Video. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

Affekte / Affects
4 April–8 June 2014

Palais Stutterheim
Marktplatz 1
91054 Erlangen 

T + 49 (0) 9131 86 2735
info [​at​] kunstpalais.de


Halil Altindere (TR), Keren Cytter (IL), Cyprien Gaillard (FR), Meiro Koizumi (JP), Aernout Mik (NL), Suzanne Opton (US), Santiago Sierra (ES), Mathilde ter Heijne (NL), Ryan Trecartin (US), Bill Viola (US), Tomoya Watanabe (JP)

Curator: Claudia Emmert

Politics discussed in talk shows, real-time journalism charged with emotions, candy and shitstorms within social media, one click on the ‘like’ button to express a democratic opinion: Within the affect-driven media society a rational analysis has become rare. However, this is only one side of the current discourse about the affect society. 

In countries of the Arab Spring, in Istanbul or in Brazil enraged citizens strike back at social and political misgovernment. Having in mind Occupy and Stuttgart 21 it is creaking massively on the stages of capitalism. Due to media and internet, regional conflicts experience attention worldwide. Quickly, supporters and opponents turn up in other countries; media reports and protests on the streets intensify mutually. Affects are an important initiator of our times. Increasingly, they coin our social and socio-political order, our discourse and value systems. Holding power that outruns the individual, they are an essential part of our culture, sociality and politics. 

The angry protests on the streets worldwide reveal how much our society is driven by affects and which important incitement they are for socio-political transformation processes. Affects challenge existing power structures and draw the larger crowds the fiercely affect-driven citizens collide with a denying financial, military or governmental administration.

In contrast to René Descartes’ ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ cognition today is mainly looked at in association with emotions. ‘I feel, therefore I am’—with this pointed phrase the American neurologist António Damásio describes the connection. In addition, the philosopher Michaela Ott identified an increased turn to the affect, a ‘self-feeding production of fear in the political and scientific discourse.’ She values this wish for affective relief as a response to the performance society that seeks to suppress the affect. 

In this context the exhibition Affekte / Affects at the Kunstpalais fathoms out the different levels of ‘thinking through affect.’ All works of art include the aspect of ‘affected seeing,’ i.e. the affects created within the beholder. The spectrum of works on show ranges from the existential experiences in Bill Viola‘s video and Suzanne Opton‘s photographies to the expression of plain violence in the works of Halil Altindere and Cyprien Gaillard. Mathilde ter Heijne and Meiro Koizumi deal with the social regulations of affects and the handling of emotions in different societies. The analysis of the affect-driven interpersonal discourse is the topic of Aernout Mik, Keren Cytter and Ryan Trecartin. Affects in view of political and social conditions play an important role in the work of Santiago Sierra. With Tomoya Watanabe‘s computer installation the visitors can give free rein to their anger by throwing virtual paving stones at any websites. 

Affekte / Affects is part of an international exhibition cooperation with the Gemeentemuseum in Helmond (The Netherlands) and the Cultuurcentrum Mechelen (Belgium).

The Kunstpalais
As a new venue for contemporary art in Erlangen the Kunstpalais opened in the Palais Stutterheim in June 2010. With two solo shows, one collection-related exhibition and one group exhibition every year relevant contemporary approaches in the international art scene are presented. The exhibition Glück happens with Mona Hatoum, Tobias Rehberger, Runa Islam, Christian Jankowski, Erwin Wurm, Aleksandra Mir and others served as the prelude in 2010. In the following year iRonic. Die feinsinnige Ironie der Kunst (The Subtle Irony of Art) with John Bock, Mark Dion, Ragnar Kjartansson, Anton Henning, Peter Land, Shannon Bool, Brigitte Kowanz and others was exhibited. In 2012 the exhibition Töten (Killing) brought together among others the artists Jenny Holzer, Taryn Simon, Björn Melhus, Anri Sala, Yves Netzhammer, Kitty Kraus, Eva & Franco Mattes and Parastou Forouhar. The topic of last year’s thematic exhibition was Freiheit! (Freedom!). Among others Ai Weiwei, Johanna Billing, CAMP, Bouchra Khalili, Klara Lidén, Lars Ramberg, Nedko Solakov and Artur Zmijewski participated in the exhibition that dealt with the Arab Spring and examined the idea of freedom from a non-European point of view.


Kunstpalais presents Affekte / Affects
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