Crisis, what crisis? Both positive and negative events come, go or cast their shadows, much as does the flood of information, comments and prognoses that accompanies them — but the perceived pace seems to be quickening. However, newspapers, television or the internet fail to mention the indescribable growing sense of foreboding which is developing somewhere in between. Vague fears, barely palpable anxieties and underlying threats shape an attitude to life that has lost a lot of its serenity somewhere between a changing present and an uncertain future. In short: the quest for answers, security and a clear order usually leads to the uncomfortable realisation that the world is confusing and puzzling, and on top of everything else, is in constant motion.
In an extensive exhibition Marta Herford attempts a slightly different diagnosis of our times. Once again, the artistic response to these suppressed or barely conceivable changes proves to be particularly sensitive without literally painting a black picture. Especially in recent times there has been a development towards a diverse and by no means only gloomy artistic outlook. The show “Invisible Shadows” comprises “Images of Uncertainty”. In these works the shadows of our times do not primarily appear as hard contours or nightmarish visions but as diverse facets which intentionally abstain from any current, obvious or one-dimensional portrayals of the crisis. Beyond catastrophic scenarios or the search for rational explanations, many artists are developing symbolic pictures with translucent surfaces that reveal what lies beneath. Premonitions of the hidden or sinister do not only leave visible traces in artworks, they also leave blind spots.
Furthermore, history shows that since the 19th century, modern middle-class societies have repeatedly experienced similar states of change and feelings of insecurity which hover somewhere between an unsettled past, hope inspired by progress and fear of the future. In order to demonstrate these connections, the wide range of contemporary artworks has been supplemented by five outstanding artistic and historic moments, such as Paul Klee’s “Blau Mantel”.
Mona Ardeleanu, Matthias Bitzer, Michaël Borremans, Mark Bradford, Baldur Burwitz, Nina Canell, Mircea Cantor, Martin Creed, Ronny Delrue, Elmgreen & Dragset, Andreas Exner, Andrea Fogli, Robert Gober, Mihai Grecu, Sabine Groß, David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson, Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler, Katharina Jahnke, Tom Jooris, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Alicja Kwade, DeAnna Maganias, Kris Martin, Pia Maria Martin, Alois Mosbacher, Wilhelm Mundt, Óscar Muñoz, Olaf Nicolai, Navid Nuur, Olaf Quantius, Alexandra Ranner, Gerhard Richter, Michael Sailstorfer, Christian Schwarzwald, Norbert Schwontkowski, Tianhong Sheng, Jörn Stahlschmidt, Simon Starling & Superflex, Maiko Sugano, Susanne Tunn, Gavin Turk, Hannes Van Severen, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, Sonja Vordermaier, Mark Wallinger, Weizenfeld