Familiar Terrain

Contemporary Art in/about Germany

"German Art" and "Art from Germany" are two popular labels in contemporary art, yet the reference to national origin frequently has little to do with artistic practice. The project "Familiar Terrain - Contemporary Art in/about Germany" explored the different ways Germany can be artistically portrayed as a historical, artistic and social space.

Fifty German and international artists contributed works to the exhibition which addressed issues regarding history, memory, cultural localization, identity, biography and clichés. The exhibition examined what German-related topics are of interest to artists of varying nationalities. Where do they see connections to Germany? What kind of aesthetic and artistic qualities do works have which address German culture, history, people or places? The exhibition presented both common and differing opinions of what the term "Germany" means today.

These questions are certainly not restricted to the field of fine arts. In order to illustrate parallel developments and reference points to other cultural fields, the curators together with the artist Heiner Blüm created a "Resonance Room" as the heart of the exhibition. The room was the centre of lectures, discussions, events, presentations, guided tours and performances featuring theme-specific works by participating artists and cooperative partners from the fields of literature, music, art, theatre, dance, design, fashion and film.

Curators: Gregor Jansen, Thomas Thiel
May 22 to September 21, 2008


ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie
Museum für Neue Kunst

Lorenzstraße 19

76135 Karlsruhe