Medium Religion

ZKM | Center for Art and Media

Photo: Boris Groys
Medium as Religion, 2006
Courtesy Boris Groys
Production ZKM | Karlsruhe

November 6, 2008

Medium Religion
An exhibition at ZKM |
Museum of Contemporary Art
23 November 2008 – 19 April 2009
Opening: Sat, 22 November 2008
at 6 p.m. in the ZKM_Foyer

Lorenzstraße 19
76135 Karlsruhe, Germany
phone: + 49-(0)721-8100-1200
info [​at​]

About the exhibition:

Today’s religious movements operate primarily with images capable of spreading around the world in a flash by means of mass media.

Video has become the chosen media for religious propaganda as it can be produced and distributed particularly fast thanks to today’s technology. The return of religions that people have been talking about recently does not necessarily mean that more people have become religious nowadays. Instead, religions have moved from the private sphere of personal belief out into the public sphere of visual communication.

The exhibition “Medium Religion” aims at demonstrating the medial aspect of religion based on current examples of religious propaganda and individual works by contemporary artists. Shown, among others, will be confession videos by religiously inspired terrorists, religious propaganda television series, and documentaries about current sects and religious groups. The artistic works juxtaposing the documentary material arise for the most part from the same context as the religious movements that they refer to. The relationship of most of the artists to religious rituals, images, and texts from their own culture is neither affirmative nor critical but instead, blasphemous. In this way, a critical analysis of the respective religious iconography is possible as well as its crossover into modern culture.

The exhibition also focuses on death as religion’s first and prime theme—death as the result of a political, artistic, or private martyrdom, similar to the central role it plays today in the political consciousness of secular modernism.

The show “Medium Religion” provides a comprehensive insight into the medial reproduction and meaning of religion, especially as it is manifest in the geopolitical hotspots in the Middle East, Asia, Russia, the United States, and South America. Many works will be shown for the first time in Germany and have been specially produced and researched for the exhibition.

Curated by Boris Groys and Peter Weibel.

An accompanying program will feature events on the theme:
“Grammatheology – Jacques Derrida and the Religious Dimension to Media Transformation” (Nov 23, 2008); “The Discursive Salon: Medium Religion” (Nov 30, 2008); Film Screening of Anand Patwardhan’s “Father, Son and Holy War” (Nov 9 and 12, 2008); “Medium Religion – Artist Talks and Photo Performance” (Jan 11, 2008); Presentation of the work “TIM” by Wim Delvoye (Nov 22, Nov 23, Dec 7, 2008, Jan 11, Feb 6, March 6, April 3, 2009).

Artists in Exhibition:

Adel Abdessemed, Oreet Ashery, Maja Bajevic, Peter Bogers, Christoph Büchel, Paul Chan, Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo, Wim Delvoye, Dias & Riedweg, Valie Export/Ingrid und Oswald Wiener, Omer Fast, Barbad Golshiri, Boris Groys, IRWIN, Kajri Jain, Romuald Karmakar, Vitaly Komar, Maxim Kononenko, Beryl Korot and Steve Reich, Korpys/Löffler, Alexander Kosolapov, Florian Meyer, Rabih Mroué, Dorcas Müller, Sang-Kyoon Noh, Anand Patwardhan, Nira Pereg, Huang Yong Ping, robotlab, Osvaldo Romberg, Dorna Safaian, Anri Sala, Günter Saree, Konrad Balder Schäuffelen, Christoph Schlingensief, Gregor Schneider, Michael Schuster, Wael Shawky, Joshua Simon, Jalal Toufic, Vadim Zakharov, Hermes Zygott.

About the Publication:

A publication with scientific contributions on the theme and a documentation of the exhibition will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Opening hours:

Wed-Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat, Sun 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Mon, Tue closed

Guided tours:
Sun 3 p. m.

Press Contact:
Friederike Walter
Phone: + 49-(0)721-8100-1220
Fax: + 49-(0)721-8100-1139

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

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November 6, 2008

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