Saturday, November 3, 2012

Desire For Freedom

The Desire for Freedom, Art in Europe Since 1945 (Verführung Freiheit, Kunst in Europa seit 1945) is currently on display at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin. The Exhibition explores the theme of freedom since the end of World War II by using art from both sides of the former Iron Curtain.

Both Capitalism and Communism were based on the ideals of the Enlightenment - Freedom, Equality, and Human Rights. Capitalism succeeded but Communism failed. The Exhibition doesn't draw any conclusions, but asks the questions: What role does art play in an era of political tension such as the Cold War? And to what extent does art draw its themes from political ideology?

"Blumen" (Flowers) 2006
Aurora Reinhart

Aurora Reinhart's "Blumen" (Flowers) is particularly provocative. It uses common household gloves and adorns them with brightly painted fingernails. Arranged as a bouquet of flowers, the gloves represent the roles women play: the housewife and the sexual plaything. She begs the question: what of the career woman? 

"Dead End Jobs" 1993
Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst's "Dead End Jobs" is also interesting. Hirst takes used cigarette butts and displays them in a glass case. To what extent are jobs fungible in a modern society? Are workers merely widgets in a vast economic web to be viewed as meaningless and inconsequential?

The Exhibition runs until February 10, 2013. It's worth a visit, and you may discover that you like "modern" art. 

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