Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg , 60311 Frankfurt am Main – Germany
Doves, rainbow colors, and rifles adorned with flowers: depictions of peace are usually limited to familiar symbols. From July 1 to September 24, 2017, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt takes a different approach with the discursive group exhibition PEACE. The exhibition presents positions by 12 international artists. Jan De Cock, Minerva Cuevas, Ed Fornieles, Michel Houellebecq, Surasi Kusolwong, Isabel Lewis, Lee Mingwei, Katja Novitskova, Heather Phillipson, Agnieszka Polska, Timur Si-Qin, and Ulay consider the subject peace from a contemporary perspective.
“What is peace? The question is simple, the answer difficult. In approaching it, we decided to change the perspective and ask: How does peace actually work? The PEACE exhibition thus appears at the right time. Just now peace is a highly relevant subject for society, one that challenges discussions and active involvement. The works included in the exhibition show how artists of our time approach the issue—providing answers and being thought-provoking at the same time,” says Dr. Philipp Demandt, director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, about PEACE.
Peace does not present itself as an object, rather as a process of interaction and communication—not only between people but also between all involved in the ecosystem. This approach differs fundamentally from the humanist worldview, which places man at the center. The focus is now on the environment: on water, plants, animals, even inanimate things. A reevaluation of the hierarchies within the ecosystem as well as of mankind’s ultimately harmful appropriation and exploitation strategies is taking place. The works presented in the show are dedicated to this reevaluation, and, among other things, illuminate indirectly such social conventions as language or rituals of giving and take that make human coexistence possible.
“The history of peace is as old as humanity itself. While war is often considered to be in human nature, peace is viewed as something far more fragile and fleeting. In our media age war and violence are profitable events and politicians focus great attention on them. Peace receives broader social recognition as a capitalist economic issue only when economic disparity becomes less important and collective growth more attractive. The exhibition PEACE constructs connections with the help of which other approaches to a life with and in peace become discernible,” says Matthias Ulrich, the exhibition’s curator, and explains: “Peace is present, is withness, is being with the world and with others.”
The exhibition PEACE wants to trigger reflection on what peace can be. There will be associated live events such as the PEACE WEEKEND on July 1 and 2, with occasions hosted by Isabel Lewis, a performance by Sue Tompkins, a lecture by Marcus Steinweg, and a concert by Luci Lippard. The interactive website www.schirn-peace.org will assemble essays by Prof. Chus Martínez, Dr. Mary Zournazi, and Prof. Michael Marder, texts on the artworks displayed, video interviews with the artists, and other documentary material from the PEACE project.
In advance, the Schirn held a competition for a new peace logo. The independent jury (Marina Abramović, Konstantin Grcic, Eike König, Tilmann Röder and Britta Thie) selected the design in the form of a blue dot, submitted independently by both Bekata Ozdikmen (Turkey) and Paul Müller (Germany).
The exhibition PEACE is supported by the Dr. Marschner Stiftung and the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain.