Eliza Goldox, Wände aus Grünem Hyazinth, 2023
© Eliza Goldox / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2023
Franka Kaßner, Erinnerungsmaterial von unbegrenzter Haltbarkeit, 2021, Photo: Galerie Christine Mayer
© Courtesy Galerie Christine Mayer, München und Franka Kaßner / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2023
Elana Katz, Unnamed, Performance Berlin 2013
Photo: Kojo, © Elana Katz 2023
Marcel Odenbach, Das Schleckermaul, 2011
Courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain, Köln, Photo: Vesko Gösel
© Marcel Odenbach / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2023
Words of welcome: Philip Kojo Metz, curator and executive committee Deutscher Künstlerbund
Introduction: Dr. Dorothea Schöne, Managing director and curator Kunsthaus Dahlem, Berlin
Performance: »The Silent Mass I Carry Around«, 2023 by Alienationist
Society and its institutions are subject to permanent change: the impact of global events is felt locally every day, familiar distinctions are being broken down by digitization, and military struggles strive for territorial gain. The concept of state citizenship faces new challenges – and with it the institutions whose claim to inclusion and solidarity goes hand in hand with transnational social movements.
From 20 October to 15 December 2023, Deutsche Künstlerbund presents the exhibition »G is for German?« with nine artists who live and work in Germany. The focus is on ways of thinking about the term »German« and its impact in everyday life and art. Which meanings are attributed to this term under changing societal conditions? The ways and contexts in which the loaded word »German« can be used are full of contradictions. There is the political reading with national and male-patriarchal connotations that has an impact on grammar and the way we deal with language. There is the material and often ideational reading that denotes belonging to a state whose passports are coveted and whose citizenship laws are contested. This contrasts with the digital nomads whose newfound mobility allows them to escape the idea of the nation state. Instead, they celebrate community and often find themselves confronted with identity politics that fosters isolationism and racism.
In their work, the nine featured artists – Alienationist, Eliza Goldox, Franka Kaßner, Elana Katz, Armin Keplinger, Markus Merkle, Marcel Odenbach, Ann Schomburg and ...thabo thindi – look at events from German history and their impact on the present, painting contemporary portraits of the relationship between origins and belongings, attempting a reappraisal of the evetns in question, and developing a counternarrative aimed at empowerment and change.
Curated by Philip Kojo Metz
Project management: Sigrid Melchior