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.