AboutConceived by the Goethe-Institut and Matthias Schneider, this touring exhibition presents two generations of German comics artists: the avant-garde that paved the way for the emergence of an independent culture of German comics, and a generation of younger comics artists whose work embraces new aesthetic and narrative aspects.
Given the diversity of artistic techniques, modes of narration and forms of publication they employ, it is practically impossible to unite the thirteen featured artists under one stylistic heading. The images in their autobiographical, surrealist, historical or fantastical narratives, comic reportages and literary adaptations are created on a wide variety of surfaces, from computer screens to scratchboards, and are drawn in pencil, ink or charcoal, among others.
What these artists do share, however, is a strong interest in exploring the potential of this medium of pictorial expression, in setting aside all restrictive formal definitions of the comic and opening up the medium to the graphic arts, painting and illustration. They leave it up to other people to decide whether their publications should be described as comics, picture stories or graphic novels; they themselves reject this kind of compartmentalisation in favour of individually adapting the narrative form to suit the particular story.
Above this, the German comics scene is extremely active: its protagonists establish artists' collectives, self-publish comic books, edit anthologies, take part in international comic festivals and exhibit their works in museums, art associations and galleries. The dynamic energy of the new German comics community is also reflected in the wide range of stylistic approaches adopted in creating their publications.
The exhibition Comics, Manga & Co. The New Culture of German Comics and the catalogue, which includes additional texts by Matthias Schneider, aims to provide insight into the diverse world of German comics.
Exhibiting artists are Arne Bellstorf, Anke Feuchtenberger, Flix, Jens Harder, Sascha Hommer, Line Hoven, Ulf K., Reinhard Kleist, Isabel Kreitz, Mawil, Christina Plaka, Martin Tom Dieck, Henning Wagenbreth.
This exhibition is presented in association with Comica Festival.