Kölnischer Kunstverein

Concepts of Love

09 Feb - 30 Mar 2008

Stephan Geene/Judith Hopf
„Bei mir zu dir (tv. low-dunkel)“
2002, video, 25 min.
Concepts of Love is an exhibition that pursues artistic discourses, productions and discussions thematising or – more precisely – thinking proactively the experience of „falling in love” as a radical form of movement.

The experience of ”falling in love“ cannot be drawn up as it lies beyond rational options of resolution. But love itself is not seen as irrational. It is linked with uncountable political, aesthetical and desire-related projections, compositions and concepts. The lovers' talks, products and analyses of these love concepts stand for the most part in contrast with a capitalistic logic of reference. They might be stoked up, inhibited, manipulated, or psychoanalytically explained but cannot possibly be ”calculated“ in a success-oriented way. Only when the lovers succeed in accepting the difference between each other or when he⁄she is able to – as author Monika Rinck words it – ”think the You beyond the I“ can love take effect.

If one follows for example the theses and experiences of Roland Barthes, hypersensibility, transgression, prodigality, acceleration and deceleration as well as unforeseeable agitations against the functionalization and instrumentalisation of the subject are common acts and experiences of lovers. The inability to ”please oneself (and fall) in love“ and to adjust to the conditions and demands of everyday and of working life is not regarded as a weakness but instead is deliberately seen as (a likewise political) strength. In spite of lovelorn blindness, one is able to see clearly, reaches most tender insights and acts radically and – in social consensus – mostly incorrect.

Starting point for Concepts of love is the work of Judith Hopf with whom we developed the exhibition. The question of the impulse and social sense of a possible productivity that can – or cannot – be communicated and negotiated in polity plays an important role in her works. Along with her own works, a large number of co-productions came into being, some of which, like for example the video Bei mir zu dir (tv.Low-dunkel), 2005, realized by Hopf and Stephan Geene or Elevator Curator, 2005, and Hospital Bone Dance,2006 which Hopf produced together with Deborah Schamoni will be shown.

With the works of Bless, Gerry Bibby, de Rijke⁄de Roij Eckehard Ehlers and Jörg Rode, Francesca Lacatena and Florian Zeyfang, Concepts of love is an exhibition showing different attempts to find a language for these movements of love. In terms of a moment of intensification and dissipation, artist such as Keren Cytter and Henrik Olesen will develop own satellites or small universes within the exhibition. A lecture by Klaus Theweleit and a reading by author Monika Rinck will expands the array of events within Concepts of love. A catalogue is forthcoming.

Tags: Gerry Bibby, Keren Cytter, Judith Hopf, Henrik Olesen