This dual exhi­bi­tion at the NKV Muse­um in Wies­baden of will open by artist and film­mak­er Hito Stey­erl on 23 Jan­u­ary 2020. And Zehra Doğan’s works will be exposed. 

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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.

Nassauische Kunstverein Wiesbaden | Instagram | Facebook | Facebook event 

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?

Wiesbaden exposition exhibition

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.

Zehra Doğan

Zehra Doğan. The vil­lagers of Xer­abê Bava were tor­tured naked on the snow. Feb­ru­ary 2017.
Pho­to © Jef Rabillon


  • 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:

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.

Zehra Doğan

Zehra Doğan
Pho­to © Jef Rabillon

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