April 21, 2012 - Kunstpalais - Killing
April 21, 2012


31 March–17 June 2012

Marktplatz 1
91054 Erlangen, Germany
Tue–Sun 10am–6pm
Wed 10am– 8pm

info [​at​] kunstpalais.de



with Jenny Holzer, Taryn Simon, Björn Melhus, Anri Sala, Yves Netzhammer, Kitty Kraus, Parastou Forouhar, Michal Kosakowski, Milica Tomic, Eva and Franco Mattes, Simon Menner

Killer games, shooting sprees, honour killings, infanticides, lust murders, suicides, genocides, suicide bombers, terror attacks, wars and civil wars, the killing of civilians and killed soldiers: killing seems to have become omnipresent in our media-dominated world. But then why is this development hardly reflected in contemporary consciousness? Why is there no discourse on killing?

The aim of the exhibition is to examine this contradiction between awareness and reality. It analyses current expressions of killing in contemporary art, and the way in which the unspeakable, unimaginable, and unacceptable is perceived in this context. After all, the apparent omnipresence of killing necessitates its acknowledgement. The twelve internationally renowned artists portray both the perpetrators’ and the victims’ perspective, and examine killing both as a physical act and as a psychological fantasy. They create imminent pictures of killing, and also develop abstract analyses of crimes. They explore social structures and individual depths, and reflect their presence in the media. The artworks exhibited on the upper floor are dedicated to the response to wars and political murders, while the works shown in the basement were inspired by presentations of killing in the media.

This exhibition is intended as a contribution to the public confrontation with a present but tabooed topic. During the development of the concept, a conscious decision was made against spectacular settings geared towards shocking and eerie effects. Nevertheless, some of the works are very haunting due to the drastic form of their presentation, and also the expression of their artistic analysis.

All the artworks are linked by the question of how much relevance an artistic picture still has in view of the flood of images in the media. After all, everything that we believe to know about war and the act of killing is derived from images conveyed by the media. Even though faith in the authenticity of the world of media images has long since been shattered, only those events that have found visual access to the media-steered collective memory of our times seem real and true.

The artists participating in this exhibition have developed very different strategies to meet the challenge provided by the flood of media images. Some artists responded with the radical withdrawal of pictures. Other artworks, in turn, contain very explicit representations of the act of killing which serve as pictorial testimonials.

Parallel to the exhibition, we will be hosting an interdisciplinary supporting programme in collaboration with the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in the rooms of the Kunstpalais. This programme includes lectures, podium discussions, readings, conversations with artists, and a conference. The British urban researcher Stephan Graham (Stanford University) is the keynote speaker.

The Kunstpalais
In June 2010 the Kunstpalais was opened in the Palais Stutterheim as a new venue for contemporary art in Erlangen. In three solo exhibitions and one group exhibition a year, relevant contemporary approaches in the international art scene are presented. They are linked to contemporary discourses within and beyond the world of art. There is a particular emphasis on issues which bear conceptual relevance to literature, philosophy and cinema. Interdisciplinary supporting programmes help to establish the artistic contents on a broad social level.

The exhibition “Glück happens” with Mona Hatoum, Tobias Rehberger, Christian Jankowski, Erwin Wurm and others served as a prelude. In 2011, the exhibition “iRonic. Die feinsinnige Ironie der Kunst (The Subtle Irony of Art)” with John Bock, Mark Dion, Ragnar Kjartansson, Brigitte Kowanz and others followed.

Curator of the exhibition: Dr. Claudia Emmert

Sponsored by the Kulturfonds Bayern with the assistance of

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