NGBK Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst

Redemption Jokes

16 Sep - 15 Nov 2015

© Oreet Ashery
Bad Company, at The Bureau for Paradoxical Relations, Installation by Sol Calero, nGbK, 2015
16 September – 15 November 2015

Oreet Ashery, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Dolanbay, Amit Epstein, Grit Hachmeister & Claudia Gülzow, Wilhelm Klotzek, Donna Kukama, Bjørn Melhus, Falke Pisano, Studio Spektral and Liam O’Callaghan

There is one great misunderstanding. We like to think that a deep, profound analysis requires being very serious. Humor is considered to be its very opposite, revealing the superficial side of things. And especially humor that leads to laughter, this most visible expression of happiness, is thought to annihilate any importance...
[An Paenhuysen, Berlin Art Week magazine, 2015]

REDEMPTION JOKES explores the connection between humour and critique in contemporary art. With a view to their aesthetic grammars and social contexts, the project presents artistic forms of subversive wit. Directed against patriarchal seriousness, humour is also used to confront cultural phobias. Inspired by queer-feminist and anti-colonial practices, the project features artistic approaches that probe ambivalent laughter at social and political relations and cause interpretations and power relations to stutter.

The exhibition design leads the visitors into an office carpet landscape under whose extensions the rubble of previous structures resists right angles. In this “belly of the beast” – the neoliberal present – in which, according to Santiago Lopez Petit, our striving for (political) change is trapped, the liberating effect of the works shown as Redemption Jokes lies in their deliberate absurdity. In breaking with norms, in dysfunctional actions and in the derailment of communication, the joke unfolds its potential of changing the relationship between those present.

In March 2015, the research and test phase of the project was presented in the Bureau for Paradoxical Relations in the gallery of the nGbK.
In September, the publication JOKEBOOK (German/English) featuring the results of the encounters, performances and research will appear in conjunction with the exhibition.
[ISBN: 978-3-938515-60-0, Publisher: nGbK. With picture and text contributions by: Oreet Ashery, Paola Bonino, Preciosa De Joya, Jonas Engelmann, Amit Epstein, Elisabeth Fritz, Christopher Kline, Wilhelm Klotzek, Eve Massacre, Gin Müller, Monika Rinck, Isabel de Sena, Oxana Timofeeva, as well as the Bureau team: Anna Bromley, Michael Fesca, Suza Husse, Teena Lange and Jana Sotzko]

Tags: Oreet Ashery, Grit Hachmeister, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Isabel, Donna Kukama, Bjørn Melhus, Falke Pisano