The exhibition is the result of a critical and interdisciplinary reflection on modernism undertaken within five years of the Exercising Modernity project. The invited artists, the graduates of the Exercising Modernity Academy in the years 2018–2022, employ various research tools and artistic methods to analyze places, objects and biographies.
Exercising Modernity, our unique, initially German-Israeli-Polish programme, has always shed light on the vast array of Polish as well as more broadly Central Eastern European contributions to the emergence of modernity. Furthermore, it proves that any attempt to tell the history of modernity devoid of those components remains inevitably incomplete and biased.
It also highlights the richness and vast array of phenomena related to modernity as well as more ambiguous, indeed at times dark elements of modernity.
The ideas of modernity have manifested themselves in multifold ways. An important area was architecture: In the 1920s and 1930s in cities such as Dessau, Frankfurt am Main, Warsaw, Krakow, Tel Aviv, Kharkiv, Kaunas, or Rotterdam, discussions centered around how to build and furnish housing more efficiently, more economically, more rationally and in line with the homeowner’s needs. These discussions shared an interest in the demands for rational organization, affordability, and more economical methods of production. But their aim was not only to transform the architectural infrastructure. They also manifested a quest for new rhythms of life and became expressions of dreams, hopes, and faith in progress.
Yet, as Marci Shore’s texts suggest, modernity is also ‘a source of suffering’. Its dual nature encompasses both a drive for reform, practicality, and progress, as well as dark sides that bring danger, uncertainty, fragmentation and existential disjunction. Thus also the dark side of modernity has always been explored and examined in the previous Exercising Modernity editions as well as in this exhibition
Artists and researchers whose works are featured in the exhibition:: Zofia Borysiewicz, Laure Catugier, Michał Kowalski, Vinicius Libardoni, Daphna Noy, Aurélie Pertusot, Marcin Szczodry, Agata Woźniczka, Yael Vishnizki-Levi.
The exhibition is organised in cooperation with ZUKUNFTGERAUSCHE and the ADAM MICKIEWICZ INSTITUE and is co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Vernissage, Wednesday 25.10.2023, 19.00 at BHROX bauhaus reuse, Ernst-Reuter-Platz, 10587 Berlin
The exhibition will available for public until 25.11.2023