Current Exhibition

Thicker than water. Family concepts in contemporary art

Opening: September 23, 2016
Exhibition: September 24, 2016 - November 27, 2016

In view of changing realities family has to be thought in a new way. At the latest with the protests of 1968 criticism of rigid role models and patriarchal power is part of the social mainstream. Yet as soon as it comes to defining what family is the topic develops a new explosive force. What makes up the families core/the core of the family?

Besides value and generational conflicts social debates about family are coined by the development of new technologies like IVF or surrogacy as well as alternative lifestyles/outlines of life.
Instead of a biological legitimacy family can also be perceived as a production process or doing family. Therefore the development of communities und society interact and lead to the question if the notion/concept/idea of family can be interpreted individually and filled with all forms of living together. Thus family affairs do not only have a private, but also a politically dimension. They are expression of changing social structures and different family conceptions.

The exhibition presents works by Candice Breitz, Simon Fujiwara, Badr el Hammami & Fadma Kaddouri, Nan Goldin, Verena Jaekel, Haejun Jo, Nina Katchadourian, Ragnar Kjartansson, Neozoon, Johannes Paul Raether, Gillian Wearing and Tobias Yves Zintel. Personally involved or at a distance the artists reflect the present status of family. Which meaning does family have in view of globalized working conditions and pluralized ways of life? In what way do networks and friends replace classical family structures?

Familia, the Latin origin of the word family, soberly translates to household. Instead of blood relationship and community of fate the term rather suggests a community based on voluntary commitment and with that captures the plurality of current family designs/concepts. Is family only a cause of free choice nowadays and no longer of genetic chance?
The exhibition is accompanied by the conference Thicker than water? Concepts of family in society, science and art (September 24 and 25, 2016). Speakers from sociology, art history, media studies, literature and cultural studies discuss this interdisciplinary topic from various perspectives.


Funded by

Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Funded by

Kindly supported by