January 29, 2014 - Museum Morsbroich - Propaganda for Reality
January 29, 2014

Propaganda for Reality

Paul Pfeiffer, Morning after the Deluge, 2003. Digital video on DVD, 20 minutes, loop. Courtesy carlier ׀ gebauer.

Propaganda for Reality
2 February–4 May 2014

Museum Morsbroich
Gustav-Heinemann-Strasse 80
D-51377 Leverkusen


With works by Francis Alÿs (BE), Art & Language (UK), Barbara Bloom (US), Michaël Borremans (BE), stanley brouwn (NL), Marcel Broodthaers (BE), Cieslik und Schenk (DE), David Claerbout (BE), de Rijke / de Rooij (NL), Omer Fast (IL), Morgan Fisher (US), Robert Gober (US), Rodney Graham (CA), Gusmão & Paiva (PT), Tobias Hantmann (DE), Bethan Huws (UK), Alicja Kwade (DE), Andreas Lorenschat (DE), Paul Pfeiffer (US), Thomas Ruff (DE), Jörn Stoya (DE), Hiroshi Sugimoto (JP), Lawrence Weiner (US), and Christopher Williams (US)

“art is propaganda for reality and is therefore forbidden.”  
This questioning of art’s reality status by Oswald Wiener’s in his major work die verbesserung von mitteleuropa, roman [The Improvement of Central Europe (novel)], was provocative, indeed cynical. The function of the image—be that a computer image or photograph, a 16mm film, a digital or video film, a slide projection, a mirror or a verbal image, a sculpture or a classical painting, has long since proven to itself to be double-edged: a possible means of knowledge, and an instrument or object of visual seduction, for manipulating reality.

What is reality and how can we perceive it? Does an image show reality or just an idea of reality, or does it perhaps even construct reality? 
The exhibition Propaganda for Reality contains works by 24 artists from nine countries. These artists engage closely with the relationship between art and reality and, through the most varied of media and a great variety of approaches, question the historical and topical, technical and artistic possibilities and conditions for representing reality.

The exhibition addresses technical and scientific imaging processes. Cieslik and Schenk, as well as David Claerbout and Thomas Ruff, experiment with forms of digital images that have abandoned the link between reality and image and yet still speak about precisely that. The artists group Art & Language present a map that eschews the customary indicative function of same, being a Map to Not Indicate. The American artist Barbara Bloom places an X-ray of a broken and then restored vase beside the object itself so as to make the visualisation of the real the theme of the image.

Curator of the exhibition is Stefanie Kreuzer.

An exhibition catalogue will be published by Verlag Kettler, with a foreword by Markus Heinzelmann and scholarly essays by Doris Krystof und Stefanie Kreuzer (pp. 168 with 78 colour reproductions).

As of 16 February, in the Works on Paper Galleries of Museum Morsbroich:
Achim Hoops. Basic Settings – Drawings from Media Images
16 February–22 June

Propaganda for Reality is supported by

Museum Morsbroich presents Propaganda for Reality
Museum Morsbroich
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