With “Sündenbock” (Scapegoat), the Kunstverein Hannover presents the most comprehensive exhibition of Erik van Lieshout (*1968, lives in Rotterdam) in Germany to date. In a both ruthlessly direct and satirical-humorous manner, his groups of works address sociopolitical issues of our times and visualize political grievances and conflicts in society. The artist transgresses personal borders and social taboos and reveals mechanisms of attributing and understanding roles and transferring guilt. The solo show features works from 2006 until today, presenting six video installations that are brought together in an expansive setting and supplemented by large-format drawings and collages. At the center is Lieshout’s most recent piece developed at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India that focuses on artistic freedom, censorship, and interaction with the audience.
The Dutch artist ventures into the midst of society to shed light on inconvenient themes such as right-wing extremism or migration conflicts and to fathom their social impact. By operating in a both emphatic and confrontational way in his process-based films, he succeeds in directly approaching places and people and bringing their attitudes and opinions to the fore. Lieshout’s personal state and the challenges of being an artist are equally the subject matter of his dissecting gaze. Documentation and staging are inextricably linked, and all actors—including the artist himself—are intensified to roles. The connection between social awareness and egocentricity, voyeuristic and exhibitionistic directness, results in a unique cosmos in which the serious sides of life are negotiated frankly and with little respect. The relationship between the private and political, individual and society, is examined anew each time.
Recent solo exhibitions by Erik van Lieshout at the South London Gallery (2017) and in Wiels, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2016), participation in numerous group shows, among others, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Fort Kochi, India (2016), Emscherkunst, Dortmund (2016), Manifesta 10, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2014).
Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur | NORD/LB Kulturstiftung | Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung | Sparkasse Hannover | Mondriaan Fonds | Botschaft des Königreichs der Niederlande