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Scenic Constellations - The Power of Images

The exhibition is a cooperation between the Diözesanmuseums Freising and Schafhof - European House of Art Upper Bavaria. It presents Christian devotional images from various centuries together with modern abstract painting, exploring how these images emotionally move the viewer.

Date :

17.12.2016 until 12.02.2017

Scenic Constellations - The Power of Images

Dates

17 December, 2016 ‒ 12 February, 2017: Exhibition
opening hours: Tu ‒ Sa 2‒7 pm, Su + holidays 10 am‒7 pm
Ikon barrierefrei The exhibition spaces and the café are accessible to the disabled.

16. December, Friday 7 pm: Exhibition OPENING
Shuttle bus from Freising Station to the House of Art: 6.30 ‒ 7 pm; return: 8.50 pm

Greetings:
  • Josef Mederer, president of the District County of Upper Bavaria
  • Dr. Christoph Kürzeder, Director of the Diocesan Museum Freising
  • Introduction:
  • Dr. Björn Vedder, curator of the exhibition 

    15 January, Sunday 3 pm: KUNST#TAG 046
    Transitional Solutions, Reading with Frank Motz, ACC Galerie Weimar
    afterwards: Artists' talk with Frank Motz, Claus Bach, Angelika Böck andFelix Weinold

    24 January, Tuesday 5 pm: meetingpoint+art
    Guided tour through the exhibition with Alexandra M. Hoffmann 

    Admission free for the exhibition, the exhibition opening and all supporting programmes.

    Participating artists

    Sven Drühl
    Rupprecht Geiger
    Alexei Jawlensky
    Karl Casper
    Quentin Massys
    Christine Streuli

    as well as works by anonymous artists from the 15th and 16th century

    Curator: Dr. Björn Vedder

     

    View in the exhibition

    Foto: Marco Einfeldt, Zoltán Kerekes

    About the exhibition

    The exhibition is guided by the hypothesis that there is a common element to both kinds of art in terms of how viewers respond to the images and feel “moved.” For example, Rupprecht Geiger’s 638/72, an abstract painting, projects the traditional tension between the foreground and background out of the image and into the exhibition space, creating a tension instead between the image and the wall upon which it hangs—thereby expanding the pictorial space of the image into the entire physical space. A visual dimension is created that goes beyond the boundaries of the image, encouraging viewers to position themselves, both physically and mentally, in relation to the image. The result is a scenic constellation, in which the image moves the viewer.(1) 

    This process assumes that viewers bring an openness in their approach to the work. Viewers must be willing to engage in this scenic constellation, allowing themselves to be inspired by an image in terms of their feelings and movements in the space. This openness is linked to a new human self-understanding, in which one no longer assumes a role of dominating the world, as postulated in the modern era, but of interacting with it in dialogue. Artists also no longer see themselves as—god-like—creators, but at least to a certain extent their work depends on external things and events.

    In historical terms this contemporary attitude can be found in the Christian notion of subjectivity, in which people are not completely autonomous, but individual autonomy is also linked to something transcendental. This raises the question as to how this encounter between the human subject and transcendence is expressed in images, and how this could be related to the expression of the kind of minimized subjectivity that characterizes abstract painting. Does the viewer engage in comparable forms of perception and movement?

    In order to explore these questions the exhibition juxtaposes contemporary abstract painting with Christian images that give rise to “an emotional attitude of devotion or the practice of prayer” on the part of the viewer or even have the potential to “enable a viewer’s individual consciousness to possibly experience an immersion in the observed content, that is allowing one’s subjectivity to spiritually fuse with an object.”2 These works lead to a scenic constellation in which they “move” the viewer on various levels. Thus within the concept of the exhibition, devotion is conceived as an active process, and the notion of the devotional image is broadly interpreted.

    The selection of works from the Diözesanmuseum is supplemented by loans of works of modern art.
  • Björn Vedder


    Footnote:
    1) Wolfram Hogrebe, Beuysianismus. Expressive Strukturen der Moderne (Paderborn, 2011), p. 80ff. 2) Rudolf Berliner, “Bemerkungen zu einigen Darstellungen des Erlösers als Schmerzensmann,” in Das Münster 9, vol. 3/4 (1956), pp. 97–117, quotation from p. 116, footnote 13; Erwin Panofsky, “Imago Pietatis. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Schmerzensmannes und der Maria Mediatrix,” in Festschrift für Max J. Friedländer zum 60. Geburtstag (Leipzig, 1927), pp. 261–308, quotation from p. 264.