Nassauische Kunstverein Wiesbaden (NKV) is the oldest art association of the Hessian state capital Wiesbaden. The two main tasks of the association consist of promoting contemporary art through exhibitions and art education. Rotating teams of art historians and exhibition organizers representing various regional, national and international artists organize group and individual exhibitions along various themes. Guest curators from different countries present their points of view and perceptions on the art scene.
Zehra Doğan’s exhibition is supported by the German Journalists’ Association, the DJV-Hessen, which awarded her in 2018, while she was in prison, the “Spring of Press Freedom” prize, received on her behalf by journalist Ingo Zamperoni.
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Here is the text introducing this dual exhibition, followed by the entire program of proposed activities during the event.
To every age its art. To art its freedom
An authoritarian backlash has hold of the democracies worldwide. Since 2003 Turkey has reconfigured the government into a bespoke presidential democracy. The prime minister in Hungary has created an illiberal democracy on Russia’s model. And, since 2017, an American billionaire has been running the most powerful office in the world with his contemptuous, attention-grabbing posturing. Populist parties have twisted the political discourse in Europe to the right and celebrating electoral successes. The new populism is an antipolitics that aims at division and reinforces centrifugal social forces. Exclusionary ridicule, provocation and political incorrectness have become weapons of these movements. Culture and art have fallen into this vortex and have again become a site of dispute.
In the group exhibition “To every age its art”, Makoto Aida, Ines Doujak, Işıl Eğrikavuk, INDECLINE, Eugenio Merino, Csaba Nemes, Tools for Action, and Wen Yau stand up against new impositions in their countries, take to the streets, participate in the social negotiation process, point out dangers, and provoke them in their turn. What political and artistic restrictions do artists face? How and with whom do the artists feel solidarity? Which prescriptions can art offer for regaining one’s own agency?
Under the second part of the Viennese maxim of “To art its freedom” is the first solo exhibition in Germany of Kurdish journalist and artist Zehra Doğan (*1989, Diyarbakır, Turkey) with a comprehensive selection of works from two creative periods. After Zehra Doğan was arrested in 2016 for a painting depicting the city of Nusaybin destroyed by the Turkish army and the news of a 10-year-old child shared on social media, the works of “Cladestine Days” (2017) were created after her release from five months of pre-trial detention. During this time, she was hiding in Istanbul. After her subsequent conviction for alleged terrorist propaganda in July 2017, the artist continued to work secretly under even more difficult conditions, even in Diyarbakır prison (2017-2018). With her paintings and drawings, Zehra Doğan advocates freedom of the press and expression, and archives with her art, a whole period of Turkish history. While she was denied access to paints in prison, she used cardboard, bed sheets, menstrual blood and leftover food to continue her artistic work. Thus, the works from this period reflect, the state of oppression and censorship, also through their materiality.
- Opening with Hito Steyerl. Thursday, January 23rd, 2020, from 6 pm
- Sundae – Guided Tour with Ice cream. Sundays, 3 pm
- Espresso – Short guided tour with espresso. Tuesdays, 12.45 am to 1.15 pm
- Spritz – Art, Drinks and More… Thursdays, 6 pm to 8 pm
- Kids InSIDE / For all – with Titus Grab. Last Saturday of the month, 11 am to 1 pm. January 25th, 2020, February 29th, 2020
- Wilhelms Wanne – Interactive tour. 8 years of age and above First Saturday of the month, 3 to 5 pm February 1st, 2020, March 7th, 2020
- Finissage on International Women‘s Day. Sunday, March 8th, 2020, 3 to 6 pm
Current dates and opening times at: www.kunstverein-wiesbaden.de
The double exhibition is supported by Hessische Kulturstiftung.
The exhibition To every age its art is based on an exhibition by HALLE 14 – Center for Contemporary Art, Leipzig. It was shown under the title The Ends of Freedom in 2019 and was supported by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Goethe Institute Hong Kong.
Text excerpts of the exhibition “The End of Freedom” by Michael Arzt.