Michel Blazy, Peter Buggenhout, Armin Chodzinski, Dirk Fleischmann, Tue Greenfort, Karl Hans Janke, San Keller, Dan Peterman, Reynold Reynolds, Mika Rottenberg, Julika Rudelius, Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger, Superflex, Rachel Sussman, Andreas Zybach
The international exhibition project Über die Metapher des Wachstums [On the Metaphor of Growth] is a cooperation between the Kunstverein Hannover, the Frankfurt Kunstverein and the Kunsthaus Baselland. Each of the three exhibitions place a different accent on artistic dealings with the concept of growth, demonstrating its present-day ambivalence in economic, biological and social contexts.
“Growing” generally has positive connotations and is seen as a desirable process. As a concept initially associated with biology, it suggests something natural. “Growth” accordingly signalizes that everything seems “natural” and thus correct and all right. However, if one follows the concept of growth as a metaphor borrowed from biology, one additionally encounters a second side that usually negates the metaphorical use. Organic growth is consistently defined by a natural border; it knows a state of being fully grown and is determined by the cycle of growth and decay. Stagnation, transience and renewal are part of the “natural,” but hardly find any metaphorical acceptance. Economic growth or technical development, for example, knows no boundary and no saturation. Only in times of crises questions regarding the limits of growth are posed in the first place. The most recent economic crisis accordingly shook the faith in permanently increasing value.
The idea of growth has long been a theme in the area of cultural production as a central principle of social organization. Artists take the concept of growth and the associated belief in progress as the occasion for investigations and visualizations based on exemplary phenomena. Their perspectives and working methods are targeted at growth as a metaphor and often operate metaphorically themselves.
The exhibition project Über die Metapher des Wachstums brings together various strands of artistic dealings with phenomena of growth to construct a tension field out of positive and negative connotations of growing, occasioning fundamental reflections. In the process, the artists’ designs—their reactions and answers to specific consequences of the idea of growth—form a matrix that enables the central position of the concept of growth in the social self-image to be experienced.
Über die Metapher des Wachstums will be realized in the form of an institutional triangle: The Kunstverein Hannover, the Frankfurt Kunstverein and the Kunsthaus Baselland have assembled a group of artists who have composed separate exhibitions for the three venues, each with its own emphasis and curatorial handwriting, which will be advertized together. The various aspects of the theme will be discussed in accompanying programs at each venue. A publication will document all three exhibitions and bring all the varying strands together.