Appropriation of the Present

Peter Riedlinger, Installation view: Apokalypse offen - seltsame

Peter Riedlinger; aus: SPD-Parteitag, 1998, ntv-news, Leipzig (Neue Messe), 1998


»Appropriation of the Present« Exhibition of Works from the Collection 
06.10.2012 – 24.02.2013

Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig (DE)

An exhibition of works from the GfZK collection by Tina Bara/Alba D’Urbano, Sibylle Bergemann, Carlfriedrich Claus, Bernd Cramer, Carola Dertnig, Dora García, Ilya Kabakov, Imi Knoebel, Kristina Leko, Dorit Margreiter, Olaf Nicolai, Blinky Palermo, A. R. Penck, Neo Rauch, Peter Riedlinger, Isa Rosenberger, Erasmus Schröter, Tilo Schulz, Thomas Struth, Rosemarie Trockel and by Mandy Gehrt, Sven Johne, Ioana Nemeş

curated by Heidi Stecker and Franciska Zòlyom

At the interface between memory and fiction, documentation and narrative, this exhibition is concerned with shifts in the perception, representation and interpretation of the realities of life. Paintings, photographs, objects, audio and video installations form a walkway through the exhibition that gives rise to questions regarding individual and collective self-empowerment as well as social and political determination. Many of the works presented have been acquired in recent years with the support of the Friends Organisation of the GfZK (Tina Bara/Alba D’Urbano, Dora García, Tilo Schulz), or as donations made to the collection by the artists themselves (Kristina Leko, Isa Rosenberger). In addition, the exhibition displays a number of works on loan from Mandy Gehrt, Sven Johne and Ioana Nemeş. Thus the title relates to the act of collecting itself, which aims at continually creating new references between individual works, to the specific context of the exhibition and to the here and now.

Collections produce various systems of order, and are themselves the subject of reflection (Carola Dertnig, Olaf Nicolai). For the most part, the works shown here are connected with the GfZK’s exhibitions, art prizes and artists’ scholarships. In this way the themes are often context-specific, focusing on the East German past, the division of Germany and the individual and general dimensions of the processes of transformation (Dorit Margreiter, Ilya Kabakov, Sven Johne, Peter Riedlinger). Frontier crossers (A. R. Penck, Blinky Palermo, Imi Knoebel, Erasmus Schröter), and also documentary approaches (Sibylle Bergemann, Thomas Struth, Bernd Cramer) clearly point towards this transition. Again and again, production conditions (Carlfriedrich Claus, Neo Rauch) as well as socially and ideologically determined images of humanity and gender stereotypes (Mandy Gehrt, Rosemarie Trockel) also play a significant role. Throughout the conscious development of the museum’s initial inventory, interest in the latter is reflected in the growing number of works by female artists in the collection.

The fact that works from the years before and after 1989 are shown together gives rise to various perspectives. Experienced and reconstructed individual fates, visions for the future, ideologies and utopias, an inventory of stagnation and new beginnings provide a host of cross-references. Various approaches to the handling of material and narrative can be observed, some of them humorous, along with the establishment of conceptual and formal-aesthetic definition.