Un­der the ti­tle Wel­come to the Jun­gle, the Kun­sthalle Düssel­dorf will bring to­geth­er a se­lec­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al works that crit­i­cal­ly, re­flec­tive­ly, and of­ten hu­mor­ous­ly, yet with­out moral­is­tic fin­ger-point­ing, re­fer to those con­di­tions and para­dox­es in which we be­come en­tan­gled while at­tempt­ing to do the right thing. For in­stance, there is a ten­den­cy to­day to re­volt against cir­cum­stances in which, through our de­ci­sions, we im­plic­it­ly al­low en­trepreneuri­al, so­cial, and re­source-re­lat­ed prac­tices to take place which we would re­ject in spe­cif­ic cas­es when, for ex­am­ple, hu­man be­ings and na­ture suf­fer as a re­sult. This man­i­fests it­self in the form of con­scious con­sumer choic­es in food, cloth­ing, and trav­el, or the sim­ple ques­tion of which top­ics and voic­es we lend our time and at­ten­tion to. From car­bon foot­prints to sus­tain­able fi­nan­cial in­vest­ments, from cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the pro­duc­tion chain—in prac­tice, the den­si­ty of in­for­ma­tion is tak­ing on jun­gle-like pro­por­tions. Yet it is of­ten not clear what fits best with our own be­liefs or which path would the­o­ret­i­cal­ly be the right one. It is an at­tempt to ori­ent our­selves amid the noise and thick­ets of the jun­gle and to dis­cern the big pic­ture from the lo­cal per­spec­tive. Col­lec­tive move­ments emerge and con­dense. In­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism and vi­ral nar­ra­tives share the band­width with pro­fes­sion­al im­age cam­paigns and dig­i­tal smoke­screens. Qual­i­ty seals for fair trade or or­gan­ic pro­duc­tion in­creas­ing­ly work like brands, and ways of life de­vot­ed to sus­tain­abil­i­ty can be adapt­ed from mag­a­zines in the vi­su­al lan­guage of the fash­ion and lifestyle in­dus­try. Thus, the jun­gle is al­so a sym­bol of dis­ori­en­ta­tion and over­load, a place where no one di­rec­tion looks more promis­ing than any oth­er.

The ex­hi­bi­tion brings to­geth­er video in­stal­la­tions, per­for­mances, large-scale pro­duc­tions, and site-spe­cif­ic works by in­ter­na­tion­al artists. They are main­ly the works and per­spec­tives of a younger gen­er­a­tion. Cu­rat­ed by Jas­mi­na Merz and An­na Lena Seis­er

Alvaro Urbano (Madrid 1983) The connection between nature and fiction is the starting point regarding the work by Alvaro Urbano. During the last two years, the old gardens of Florence and Rome got in the focus of his interest: There, he creates situations in which remains of uncertain provenance will be visible for the viewer. He brings antique statues to life by arranging traces of their alleged nightly activities in their surrounding. The viewer gets confronted with an uncanny feeling which remains vague, and reality is put on a level that only consists of imagination. The pieces we see in the exhibition shows a number of leafs that he found at Giardini dei Mostri in Rome and whose dissections remind of grotesque-like faces. With this, the uncanny of the nature gets visualized again – it functions with its own mechanisms, and at the end they stay invisible for the viewer.

KUNSTHALLE DÜSSELDORF. Grabbeplatz 4. D-40213 Düsseldorf



Image: Alvaro Urbano