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Existential Visual Worlds: Weserburg exhibits works from the Reinking Collection
Wolfgang Petrick, Bombenalarm, 2005-08, Sammlung Reinking.

BREMEN.- With works from approximately fifty contemporary artists along with artifacts from Africa, Oceania, and America, the exhibition presents one of the most unusual private collections in Germany. Its theme is the current perspective with regard to those artistic attitudes which concentrate upon the experience of life on an existential level and bring this focus to expression in each respective work in an impressive manner. The multiple meanings and aesthetic power of the objects and images, their auratic energy and occasional dramatic transformation point toward artistic practices which are repeatedly capable of transcending the borders of material reality in the direction of the unconscious, dreams, and death.

In many cases, the works on display juxtapose continents and cultures in an overarching, associative manner. The unusual combinations reveal various interconnections and cross-references. Attention is directed in particular to the way in which art establishes links between various elements. The global perspective with which the collection is structured makes it possible to give consideration to and to show respect for the diverse characters and variable meanings of the works, and also to make these aspects a part of one's own aesthetic experience. New perspectives and points of view are opened onto both contemporary and traditional works.

On display are works by international artists from the nineteen-sixties until today. In combination with extra-European, traditional art, there arise almost as a matter of course both vivid contrasts and surprising synergies. In spite of their stylistic characteristics, differences, and peculiarities, these works share a common concern for transforming everyday realities, disrupting habitual points of view, and giving rise to aesthetic experiences which open up the borders to the transcendent realm of spirituality.

All in all, the presentation includes a wide range of various genres and forms of expression. In addition to paintings and drawings, there are sculptures, objects, and installations. One highlight is certainly the gigantic, space-encompassing work consisting of fragile glass display cases in which the Canadian artist Terence Koh presents 222 heads made of black ash. But also Frantiček Klossner's cast of the upper part of his body, made of ice and hanging from the ceiling, is worthy of close attention. During the opening of the exhibition, the massive block of ice will begin to melt, and the figure of the Swiss artist will gradually dissolve right before the eyes of the visitors. In addition to Klossner and Reinking, Tim Steiner will also be present at the opening. On his back, Steiner has a tattoo designed by the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye which clearly numbers among the most impressive works to be seen in the exhibition.

“Existential Visual Worlds” is based entirely on works from the Reinking Collection. A resident of Hamburg, the keen-sensed collector gathered a wide range of unusual artistic positions from Fluxus past Minimalism all the way to Street Art and has combined them with artifacts from Africa, America, and Oceania. The exhibition “Existential Visual Worlds” in the Weserburg is marked by the particular manner in which these different works enter into relation with each other and give rise to new meanings and surprising aesthetic experiences among the viewers.

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