Alicia Holthausen and Gregor Jansen talk to artist Martin Pfeifle about the current show and his installation HAW Pavilion in the Kunsthalle.
Photo: Katja Illner
In light of Russia’s terrible and unimaginable war of aggression against Ukraine, an exhibition on joy and art might seem out of place. The main idea while the exhibition was being planned was to present a counterpoint after two long years of the pandemic and to celebrate the power of art.
We have decided to open the exhibition in spite of the current global political events because we want to remain a place for exchange and communication, especially now. Joy is the antidote to hate, and love is one of the most important energies that we humans have.
The artists and curators think that, due to the intolerable emergency in Ukraine, it would be misleading to keep the title in its original form, and so they decided to add a strikethrough line to indicate its deletion.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fundraiser for Ukraine. Artists featured in the exhibition will offer works for sale, and the proceeds will benefit various organizations and initiatives. The works will be presented in the foyer of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf during the exhibition and can be purchased directly from the artists.
About the Exhibition
Individual and collective ideas about happiness and its presence or absence can be very different. In communities, we define happiness largely in terms of the opportunity to participate. Whether we consider ourselves happy as individuals can depend on a wide variety of material and non-material factors.
Our attitude toward freedom is also constantly changing. What does freedom mean to us today? The freedom to chose our own lifestyle? The freedom to pursue personal happiness? Or a political ideal that is still worth fighting for?
In the works of thirteen artists with ties to Düsseldorf these aspects are critically examined in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and installations. The artists’ balancing of the aesthetic becomes immediately apparent to visitors from the atmosphere it creates in the exhibition space.
Participating artists: Laura Aberham, Jan Albers, Vivian Greven, Erika Hock, Dietmar Lutz, André Niebur, Martin Pfeifle, Chris Reinecke, Hedda Schattanik & Roman Szczesny, Christoph Schellberg, Jörn Stoya, Tatjana Valsang
The exhibition is curated by Alicia Holthausen, Gregor Jansen, and Jörg Schlürscheid.
A digital publication dedicated to the twelve artists in the exhibition and their works has been published to accompany the exhibition.