On the occasion of Søren Kierkegaard’s 200th anniversary in 2013, the Haus am Waldsee in Berlin held an exhibition of contemporary fine arts which illustrated the existential positions of the Danish philosopher and theologian. In his work “Either / Or”, which he produced in Berlin in 1843, Kierkegaard contrasts the positions of an “aesthete” and an “ethicist”, each of whom represent different value systems. An aesthete is a hedonist, swayed by feelings and is playful and easy-going. The ethicist, on the other hand, is guided by reason, adheres to principles of morality, is politically interested and endeavours to be useful to the community.
The exhibition was divided between these two positions. On the ground floor of the Haus am Waldsee, the exhibition presented international contemporary artists whose works possess qualities which reflect the position of the aesthete – intuitive, spiritual, ironic, escapist, erotic. The “ethicist” was on the 1st floor, i.e. contemporary works which address ethical, political, moral or philosophical subjects.
On the basis of these artistic forms of expression, the exhibition illustrated a principle described by Kierkegaard which remains valid today, namely that one’s intellectual attitude can shape one’s lifestyle and individual character traits.
Artistic director: Katja Blomberg
Curator: Solvej Helweg Ovesen
Artists: Lee Yongbaek (KR), TAL R (IL), Tom Hillewaere (BE), Iepe Rubingh (NL), Birgit Brenner, Kirstine Roepstorff (DK), Hayv Kahraman (IQ), Kerry Tribe (US), Ahmad Ghossein (LB), Renzo Martens (NL) and others