The new Bucerius Kunst Forum
opened in June with the exhibition Here We Are Today: A View of the World in Photography and Video Art. The show focuses on highly topical issues in our globalised society. Nearly 90 photographs and videos are on view that address the themes of identity, homeland, the past, crime and capital. Important contemporary artists including Andreas Gursky, Pieter Hugo, Shirin Neshat and Hito Steyerl are represented with exemplary works.
The Bucerius Kunst Forum inaugurated its new premises on Alter Wall with the exhibition Here We Are Today: A View of the World in Photography and Video Art. On view are paradigmatic works exemplifying artists engagement with the central issues of our globalised society. This first show held in the Bucerius Kunst Forums new premises thus picks up on the forums own traditions because the programme of exhibitions and events here has always been about providing orientation and food for thought for debates on major issues facing society, on our shared values and the place of art in a globalised world.
Of all visual art genres, video art and photography are able to address current social discourses most directly, which is why these two media are at the heart of Here We Are Today. On display are 80, in most cases serial, photographs and seven videos. The show brings together exemplary works by 16 important contemporary artists including Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, Pieter Hugo, Herlinde Koelbl, Eva Leitolf, Shirin Neshat, Marcel Odenbach, Peter Piller, Hito Steyerl and Tobias Zielony.
Identity, homeland, the past, crime and capital these are the five sections structuring the show, which has been curated by Kathrin Baumstark. Contemplating the works shown here can help us to better picture the thoughts we all have on these burning issues. The art visualises the questions preoccupying the viewer, without however giving, or wanting to give, any simple answers. The aim is instead to encourage people to question their own position. These photographs and videos are distinguished by a very high aesthetic standard, which is in turn contrary to the content; they move us while at the same time challenging our viewing habits. Here We Are Today features artworks that instigate communication, arouse sensations and strengthen our power of judgement. This is art that interweaves knowledge with awareness. Particularly suitable for this purpose are works that condense life experiences, one way to ensure relevance and readability. This means that some of the works, for example those by Shirin Neshat and Samuel Fosso, convey an interplay between the artists own biography and universal questions. Last but not least, the juxtaposition of issues such as homeland and crime makes it clear how closely the questions facing each individual are in fact interlinked.
A catalogue with essays by Jutta Allmendinger, Kathrin Baumstark, Britta Biergans, Inka Graeve Ingelmann, Wulf Herzogenrath, Maike Hohn, Thomas Kellein, Stefan Koldehoff, Bernhard Maaz, Franziska Stöhr, Annette Tietenberg, Lukas Schepers, Katharina Vossenkuhl and Jan Wetzel has been published by Hirmer Verlag, Munich (approx. 180 pages with illustrations of exhibited works, 29 at the show).