Something in this exhibition is not right. While everything around us is sinking into chaos, opportunities for art arise from sheer impenetrability. But in the same way that many people mistrust commentators and fact checkers, and instead prefer to believe in their own truths, artists too are playing cunning games with their audiences’ perception, if not fears, and with their collective fantasies. The images, objects and videos in this exhibition purposefully hint at dark secrets by merging real and surreal worlds in order to create a climate of uncertainty, doubt and approximation.
The 34 selected artists from Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, the Netherlands, the USA and Great Britain address all the topics that move the world. The banality of evil. The simultaneously criminal and distinguished nature of power. The smooth surfaces of desire. The shady deals and amoral networks. By doing so, they show how the perpetrators merge with their abysmal deeds.
In the fall of 2012, the highly acclaimed exhibition Black Romanticism: From Goya to Max Ernst at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt/Main explored the darker aspects of human existence through the obscure side of romanticism and its continuation in symbolism and surrealism. New Black Romanticism is the attempt to look at contemporary artistic trends between progressive Dark Wave and strategies of obfuscation. From delicately intonated doomsday pathos to neo-baroque bombast, nothing seems too fraught for the artists’ merging of sentimental effusions galvanised by chilling undercurrents.
Curated by Christoph Tannert
Curatorial Assistant Miriam Barnitz