The Appearance of Things
Participating artists: Astrid Busch, Jesse Farber, Christa Fülbier, Kati Gausmann, Francisca Gomez, Rainer Gottemeier, Carola Grimm, Jan Klopfleisch, Pauline Kraneis, Ute Lindner, Anja Majer, Nikolai Marcinowski, Manfred Miersch, Katja Pudor, Christoph Rodde, Michaela Schwarz-Weismann, Zuzanna Skiba, Nicola Stäglich, Michael Strasser, Marc von der Hocht, Sybilla Weisweiler, Dana Widawski.
In no way has it been resolved whether and how we can trust that which appears to us as the tangible world. Are the world and the things in it credibly exactly what they are showing us? The world has a glow to it, it shimmers, appears then disappears in multifold phenomena and we do not know what the shadowing and the appearances are showing us: Illusions and simulacra or the core of things, their true essence? We are still contemplating about the question: How does the surface of the world relate to the truth, to its essence, to the genuine, the good and the beautiful? Plato’s answer to this, his Cave Allegory, was definite and degrading to the arts and our senses.
For Plato the true Self was not congruent with the appearances that are accessible to us, he considered the things of this world an inferior level of reality. With his, to this day much-cited, Cave Allegory he created a memorable illustration of our entrapment in an illusory world, where nothing less than silhouettes are fooling us, which themselves are cast by replicas, not even originals. His critique of the illusory world culminates in an insistent warning about artists as illusion-stirrers, dangerous accomplices of a fraud to which we are already subjected to, if we believe the appearance of things and assume the true, beautiful and good in them.
With the theme year 2018 “The Appearance of Things” we want to provide a room for artistic interventions that commit critically and constructively to the surface and materiality of things, their glow and their narrative force and suggestion. The artistic devotion to the things themselves, in doing so, becomes a deciphering of appearances and regards itself as an aesthetic exploration of the question of how else we could read the texture of the world.