Ten years after the global financial crisis in 2008, the Kunsthalle Mannheim investigated how the art world has responded to and portrayed the economy. The exhibition has featured a comprehensive two-part review which examined the theme with respect to modernity and the current events.
In the first part, the curators explored the art developments which arose between the two world wars in the United States, the socialistic Soviet Union and the Weimar Republic in Germany with their varying societal models and contrasting economies. The exhibition displayed numerous international loans, e.g. paintings, graphic works, posters, photography and films, and emphasised how the economic upswing and the economic crisis were expressed in visual culture and the fine arts. Attention was also focused on industrialisation and the relationship between man and machine.
The second part of the exhibition was devoted to the 21st century and examined the changing views regarding work. Continuing the lines of investigation from the first section, this part has established a link to a working world in flux and the conditions of globalisation. The exhibition has presented about 35 international contemporary works from the areas of film, installation, photography, performance and social action. The artworks explored issues of today’s professional world, comprising a spectrum ranging from physical exploitation to computer-aided management. They also made reference to global production processes, speculative financial ventures, digitalisation and information surveillance. Particular emphasis was placed on works which explore the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008.
Artistic director: Ulrike Lorenz
Curators: Eckhart Gillen, Inge Herold, Sebastian Baden
Artists: Thomas Hirschhorn (CH), Alicja Kwade, Sanja Ivekovic (HR), Andreas Siekmann, Georg Winter
Performance: Zefrey Throwell (US)