Nam June Paik
From the baroque opulence of Matthew Barney to the ravaged realism of Zhuang Hui, the 24 artistic statements in the exhibition challenge the Eurocentric historicizing of Beauty. Their robust questioning and invention offer new perceptual possibilities of the visual. These charged emotive works in the exhibition featuring artists from sixteen countries. Performance programme presents the results of international encounters.
The exhibition and the project "About Beauty" will be opened with a selection from the programme and speeches by invited guests.
Beauty is back: Curators Wu Hung, Ackbar Abbas and the conductor Kent Nagano explain their view of beauty in the contemporary, the Beijing Modern Dance Company performs an excerpt from their successful piece "Jue", and the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester with Vanessa Barkowski (Canto) and Sebastian Stoerner (Piano) play compositions by Salvatore Sciarrino, Arnold Schoenberg, and Isang Yung. The evening will conclude with dance music in the restaurant by the DJ Set Banzai Kids.
The exhibition 'About Beauty'
From the baroque opulence of the visionary artist Matthew Barney to the ravaged realism of Zhuang Hui's installation, "Chasan County"; here bodies, time and space become material. These works invite the audience to enter a world of visual puns and principles helping to consider theories through their confronting positions.
About Beauty - Translating Acts
Commissioned works and premiÃ¨res: the performance programme presents the results of international encounters. Using body language and choreography, dancers and choreographers from Berlin, China, Japan and India engage in a dialogue on the concept of beauty.
About Beauty - Beauty Politics
Within these thematic projects, cultural and historic aspects of beauty as well as aspects of beauty in everyday life will be explored in an experimental way that leaves room for action and reflection. Filmmakers, architects, musicians, designers, etc., both exhibit or perform their works and use them as a basis for more general, and informal, comments on beauty.
About Beauty is supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds
3sat is official partner of About Beauty
Supported by Schering Stiftung, Le Consortium, Dijon and Lufthansa Shanghai
Presented by kulturradio, Zitty, ballettanz, Le Monde diplomatique, radiomultikulti, http://www.kultur-kanal.de
The House of World Cultures is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and Media and by the Foreign Office.
Wang Gongxin & LinTianmiao
From the baroque opulence of the visionary artist Matthew Barney to the ravaged realism of Zhuang Hui's installation, "Chasan County"; here bodies, time and space become material. These works invite the audience to enter a world of visual puns and principles helping to consider theories through their confronting positions. The 24 artistic statements in the exhibition challenge the Eurocentric historicizing of Beauty. Their robust questioning and invention offer new perceptual possibilities of the visual. These charged emotive works in the exhibition featuring artists from sixteen countries allows the viewer to enter the emerging dialogue "About Beauty".
New commissioned works by Samta Benyahia (Saint Denis, France), Jens Haaning (Berlin/Vordingborg, Denmark), Hans-Peter Feldmann (DÃ¼sseldorf) in co-operation with babel, Michael Lin (Paris/Taipei), Qin Yufen (Berlin/Beijing) Zhu Jinshi (Berlin/ Beijing) as well as works by Matthew Barney (New York), Heri Dono (Jakarta), Rotimi Fani-Kayode & Alex Hirst, Katarzyna Kozyra (Berlin/Warsaw), Liu Dan (New York/ Beijing) at the Museum fÃ¼r ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin-Dahlem, Liu Zheng (Beijing), David Medalla (Bracknell, Great Britain), Shirin Neshat (New York), Nam June Paik (New York), Ravinder Reddy (Visakhapatnam, India), RongRong & i n r i (Beijing), Cindy Sherman (New York), Shi Chong (Beijing), Wang Gongxin & Lin Tianmiao (Beijing), Zhuang Hui (Beijing).
"On Beauty" attempts to offer neither a classification of universal standards nor to portray great art traditions. On the contrary, the works aim to show how individual artists are reconsidering and presenting beauty in new ways. Mythology and technology, dreams and death, the body and decay, transcendence and public space: around all these themes visual points of attraction have emerged that do not correspond to standard ideals of beauty but nevertheless radiate immense sensual presence. "The Documenta will also be beautiful." As this statement by Documenta curator Roger M. Buergel indicates, art has rediscovered beauty as a theme. Since the 1990s, critics of the art establishment have again been examining the relationship between beauty and art from a feminist, postmodernist and inter-cultural perspective. The debate on the significance of beauty in different cultures will help to emancipate the concept - at long last - from the western philosophical tradition. The exhibition "On Beauty" bears witness to all these developments and goes beyond simply presenting a variety of positions in an exhibition hall. Here, artistic interventions change the appearance of the entire building: Michael Lin transforms the foyer floor into a brilliantly coloured room-filling painting with huge flowers that positively engulf the viewer. With filigree Arabic ironwork on the central window front, Samta Benyahia presents a surprising interpretation of the building. And the city itself becomes part of the project, too. With a provocative poster campaign in NeukÃ¶lln and Zehlendorf, Jens Haaning is combining Western advertising aesthetics, with their emphasis on the body, with Arabic script, thus giving a different twist to the exhibition theme and showing the inner conflict that (the instrumentalisation of) beauty has always borne within itself.
Wu Hung, the exhibition curator, taught at Harvard University before being appointed director of the Center for the Arts of East Asia at the University of Chicago.
Image: Zhuang Hui - Â© courtesy of the artist, Beijing
Opening: Thursday, March 17 | 19:30 h, Free admission
Curator: Wu Hung
Haus der Kulturen der Welt