Cults are an expression of the human desire to belong. Through rituals of worship they engender a sense of community and identity. Cultic veneration of individuals, objects and places are ubiquitous – and cults become even more prevalent in times of crisis. There is no rational explanation for cults. As complex structures of emotion and reason, cults always possess something inherently mysterious. The interdisciplinary exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum analysed the various forms and strategies of cultic worship. International artists like Halil Altindere, Julius von Bismarck and Josh Kline reflected on the role of cults in contemporary art. They explored the mechanisms of cults in society, politics and pop culture, and investigated their social relevance. How do they arise, what is their effect? What continuities and ruptures do we find in them? What kind of subversive forces can they develop? The artworks investigated the cultic worship of political leaders, subcultures and stars, the staging of cultic venues, rituals and objects of fetish. The exhibition also highlighted the “Zeppelin” legend, and featured a new blog titled #zeppcontent which investigated and discussed the Internet cult. The exhibition was accompanied by a conference titled “Cultic Objects and Legends in the Museum”, a film programme, lectures and cooperative projects.
Curators: Jürgen Bleibler, Claudia Emmert, Friederica Ihling, Sabine Mücke, Ina Neddermeyer
Artists: Halil Altindere (TR), Kenneth Anger (UM), Julius von Bismarck, Candice Breitz (ZA), Aleksandra Domanovic (CS), Josh Kline (UM), Aby Warburg