27/05/2017 – 24/09/2017

Dying well – False death

Museum für Neue Kunst

News about someone’s death reminds us on a daily basis that dying is an inevitable and everyday occurrence. Yet death is not actually a part of life. All that can be said about it is that it lies beyond the scope of what people can communicate as an event or an experience. Thus, for the living, death exists as an empty space about which we can but conjecture based on a series of collective intimations and fears. Every attempt to grasp death is destined to fail. As a result, it is not possible to talk about death as such, but more about the dying and the dead, as well as about the discourse surrounding the event.

Artists engage with the topic within the scope of their own work. Their motifs are as varied as the outcomes. On account of the outsourcing of the dying and deceased body, we are often deprived nowadays of transparency, a sense of naturalness and concreteness, which, by contrast, is addressed in the artworks. The exhibited works discuss the revulsion to and fascination with death, the tendency to gloss over it all or the desire to get ‘up close and personal’ with death in the form of the decaying body; the artists behind these works seem to play with the idea of their own deaths or to anticipate it performatively, to caricature it, to protest about it or simply deny it, to confront it or to objectify it factually.

AES+F | Hippolyte Bayard | Stan Brakhage | Gregor Bischoff | AA Bronson | Sarah Charlesworth | Simon Dybbroe-Møller/Jacob Dahl Jürgensen | Valérie Favre | Robert Gober | Damien Hirst | On Kawara | Holger Keifel | Erik Levine | Via Lewandowsky | Kris Martin | Marcel Mieth | Linda Montano | Adrian Paci | Chloe Piene | Julia Charlotte Richter | Sam Samore | Taryn Simon | Adrian Schoormans | Yang Zhenzhong

curators: Leonhard Emmerling, Catherine Garet, Christine Litz, Finn Schütt

Marcel Mieth, Corrected Life Line, 2010 © Marcel Mieth
Linda Montano, Mitchell's Death, 1977, © courtesy of Video Data Bank, www.vdb.org, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Via Lewandowsky, Bona fide (Ertrinken), 1999, Foto: Uwe Völkner © D a s a Arbeitswelt Ausstellung
Holger Keifel, Albert Einstein’s Brain, 2005 © Holger Keifel
Valérie Favre, aus der Reihe Selbstmord (Twin Towers, aus dem Fenster / In der Badewanne / Mit Jagdgewehr) 2007, Öl auf Leinwand, Courtesy Valérie Favre und Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, Photo: Jens Ziehe © VG Bildkunst 2017
Adrian Paci, Vajtojca, 2002 © Courtesy the artist and kaufmann repetto, Milano/New York

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission fees

7 euros / concession 5 euros


Museum für Neue Kunst
Marienstraße 10a
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
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