NGBK Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst

Ein Leben lang

26 Jul - 31 Aug 2008

Peter Granser, couple in the pool, 2002
Ein Leben lang / All your life
26 July - 31 August 2008

Artists: Birgit Brenner (DE), Baldur Burwitz (DE), Lenka Clayton & James Price (GB), John Coplans (US), Donigan Cumming (CA), Evelina Deicmane (LV) Regine von Felten (CH), Margi Geerlinks (NL), Peter Granser (DE), Friederike Kersten (DE), Felix Pestemer (DE), Annegret Soltau (DE), Miwa Yanagi (JP)

Getting older all your life – an inevitable process that shapes everyone. People often forget that the ageing process begins at birth. The course of aging is linked to various different factors: sex, social position, activity and education, interests and physical culture – many of which make us "look" younger or older.

The consequences of demographic changes have been debated in the media for a long time. Diverse experts have predicted doomsday scenarios of a superannuated society and socio-political measures been taken to soften the impact of the "consequences".

The exhibition Ein Leben lang at the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) presents artistic positions which question and analyze the cliché-ridden images prevalent in our society and concepts of old age. They deal with the process of getting older and the personal visions, changes and realities associated with it.
How do ageing people regard their own bodies, society and death?
Unfortunately, our society all too often sees age as being linked to un-/productivity. Such an attitude reduces old age to the period of time spent after leaving working life. Although one can begin to observe the first positive changes in the way old people are perceived, they still often find themselves confronted by discrimination and exclusion.
The exhibition seeks to make a contribution to a more differentiated examination of ageing and presents approaches that examine the ageing process beyond the so-called 3rd stage of life and the widespread debate in the media yet which do not overlook the silent, sad moments of sickness and loss.

The catalogue presents artistic positions from two exhibitions, whose close thematic relationship led to their being prepared in cooperation:
“Ein Leben lang“
at the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst and
”Wir sind immer für Euch da“
at Kunsthaus Dresden (10 May – 13 July 2008)
The catalogue includes contributions by Sabine Kampmann (on images of ageing in art and the media), Thomas Küpper (on the way films show ageing), Stephan Lessenich (on the working capacity and productivity of older employees) Simon Marschke (thematic introduction to the NGBK exhibition), and Dominikus Müller (on forgetfulness and dementia). It also contains an essayistic contribution by Silvia Bovenschen from her most recent book “Alter werden".

The programme of events includes talks by experts on a variety of age-specific topics which are linked to presentations of artistic works.

Vergessen: Lecture evening on forgetting and dementia with Regine von Felten and Thomas Fischer (Diplom-Pflegewirt)
Verwurzelt: Lecture evening on urban planning and the case of Sun City with Peter Granser and Rebecca Eizenhöfer
Versichert: Information evening on provision for old-age with Annemarie Helmer-Heichele (Director of the Federal Association of Artists of the Fine Arts - BBK) and Susanne Prinz (Artist Pension Trust)
Vergangen: Lecture evening on sexuality in old age with Annegret Soltau and Beate Schultz-Zehden
Verschwunden: Reading by Silvia Bovenschen from her book “Verschwunden“

(all events will take place in German)

Among other things the educational programme will include cooperation with Dritter Frühling e.V. (a pilot scheme working with senior citizens) to allow older people to participate in creative workshops and themselves engage in creative activity and discuss the ageing process in the context of the exhibition.
Guided tours through the exhibition with Thomas Belschner and Daniela Bystron will take place each Sunday at 3 pm.
In cooperation with the Berlin-Kreuzberg social services department senior citizens will be given an introduction to the exhibition. One focus will be on discussions of and with migrants since one might expect that they would react to the exhibited works in different ways.

An exhibition by the NGBK project team: Raluca C.E. Blidar, Simon Marschke, Jan Sauerwald, Susanne Schwarz, Jana Sylvester and Susanne Weiß.

Tags: Birgit Brenner, Baldur Burwitz, John Coplans, Peter Granser, Friederike Kersten, Dominikus Müller, Miwa Yanagi