Within the framework of the programme UP (Unsustainable Privileges) by Solvej Helweg Ovesen and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.
What is it that seems to give meaning to life? What is it that promises social success today on the market of endless possibilities? And how does self-staging work when specialness is the standard? The first group exhibition within the programme UP (Unsustainable Privileges) at Galerie Wedding brings together artistic positions that allow the examination of different perspectives on a society in which the imperative of uniqueness prevails. What are the consequences of lifestyle differentiation, the increasing complexity of cultural codes and the persistent pressure to market one’s own identity?
Paradigms of the workplace (Hanne Lippard) will be considered just as phenomena of leisure, the gradual internalisation of social codes (FORT), techniques of subjective self-care (Lauryn Youden) and -experience (Liping Ting), the precarious relationship between stylisation and complexity (Grace Weaver) and the systematic development of fluid social conditions (Ed Fornieles). An exploration of the interplay between national identities and personal historiography (Marco Bruzzone) is mirrored by the investigation of the relationships and oscillations between traditional techniques of social positioning, masking and the need for authenticity (Donna Huanca).
With regard to the super-modern lifestyle as defined by anthropologist Marc Augé in the 1990s, questions are raised concerning the individualised mode of producing meaning that has resulted from a dissolution of reference points for collective identification. A striving for uniqueness as the expression of individuality has been more recently addressed in the writings of sociologist Andreas Reckwitz, who speaks of the »curation of one's own life« and has introduced a concept that considers our contemporary society as an accumulation of singularities. »Self-complexity« arises from a sort of composition of external areas of life, which, in turn, render the experiencing subject special. In describing this, Michaela Ott has coined the term »dividual«, which focuses on the complex tensions between the notions of privilege and heteronomy.
How this all plays out is revealed by taking a look at social media: the staging of the self takes place through the appropriation of attributes associated with certain trends in fashion, sports, music and art exhibitions, choices of food and places visited with a selected group of others. Conscious choice-making is based on careful examination and an acquisition of knowledge that involves either understanding or not understanding cultural codes. But which aspects finally correspond to one's own personality, and which are in fact guided by the search for orientation within a given social framework?
I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes positions itself amongst the tensions that arise between a demanding stance toward one's own life (extending from the search for meaning to the attainment of wellbeing), and our abilities to respond to the respective demands. Different phenomena of the singular and various ways of building identity are made tangible and can be experienced aesthetically. The fact that these phenomena are not limited to the sphere of the individual is demonstrated by Galerie Wedding itself, as the exhibition space is subject to similar challenges regarding its own everyday identity and locational politics.
Performance »Yuan Fang 遠方« by Liping Ting on 24.06.2018 from 4pm untill 5.30pm
Tour through the exhibition with curator Nadia Pilchowski on 28.06.2017 from 5pm until 6pm
Performance You Say I For Me by Lauryn Youden in cooperation with Florian T M Zeisig on 8th July 2018 from 7pm until 8.30pm