ME COLLECTORS ROOM
May 29–August 28
The exhibition All Cannibals? at me Collectors Room scrutinizes the topic of cannibalism (anthropophagy) in art. Historical works—etchings, books of hours, paintings, ethnographic photographs, and cult objects foster a dialogue with works from contemporary art.
Shown are current works from the mediums of video, installation, photography, sculpture, drawing, and painting that explore the issue of anthropophagy in a mindscape that is often both uncanny and playful at the same time. The juxtaposition of past and present reveals intersections between metaphorical and literally concrete planes. Various motif-related aspects—like sacrifices, primordial fears, and sensually narrated elements of creepiness—are presented from an art-historical perspective, their many layers illuminated.
A total of 100 works, most of which originate from private collections, by 40 international artists are being shown in the exhibition, partly chronologically and partly thematically presented. The arrangement follows headings like History, Myths & Fairy Tales, Solidarity of the Flesh, Goya and His Successors, and Holy and Secular Cults.
The exhibition fields the question as to whether we as people are not, fundamentally speaking, all potential cannibals. Along this vein, the exploration of cannibalism should always first start with us. The issues manifesting in the artistic representation of cannibalism reference basic problems relating to one’s self-perception, to associations with one’s own flesh, and also to dealings between people. Thus, the metaphorical consumption is able to encourage the fostering of solidarity with others and to expose victim-perpetrator associations. In art, this bipolarity is shown through the oscillation between desire and violence, eroticism and power.