Talk | Presentation: Curators’ talk and presentation of the exhibition catalogue

Photo: View of the exhibition “Elective Affinities,” Sammlung Friedrichshof Stadtraum

Denise Wendel-Poray and Hubert Klocker in a conversation with artists featured in the exhibition.

How can different portraits be interconnected? How can they communicate with each other in terms of aesthetics, content, material, and philosophy? Which positions reinforce each other through their mutual attraction, which contradict each other and thus create a new power field?

The exhibition “Elective Affinities” poses these questions through a selection of portraits by a group of innovative artists. The title of the show is borrowed from Goethe’s 1809 novel, which portraits a number of characters and their changing relationships. The term “elective affinity” was first used in chemistry to describe the chemical affinity of atoms, i.e. their tendency to bond or repel each other. Are human passions governed by chemistry or by free will?

All works shown in the exhibition feature human subjects, but what lies behind their concrete, physical portraits? Where do they meet or overlap in terms of time and content? The show addresses the controversial issue of “determinacy vs. free will” in the artistic process.

Works by: Ellen Berkenblit, Lea Draeger, Sofia Goscinski, Sandro Kopp, Bjarne Melgaard, Bjørn Melhus, Jonathan Meese, Otto Muehl, Sabine Pigalle, Iris Schomaker, Spencer Sweeney, Erwin Wurm
Curated by: Denise Wendel-Poray and Hubert Klocker