Thicker than water. Family concepts in contemporary art
September 24, 2016 - November 27, 2016
The “extinction” of the family, the disappearance of relational connections, but also criticism of rigid family structures is a recurring topic in social debates. The generation of 1968 saw the family as a petit bourgeois community of fate from which to break away and leave behind in order to gain freedom. In the course of this development, entire generations battled to overcome outdated traditions and deadlocked roles so they could establish new forms of living together. The family is not only a place of social comfort, a community to identify with, but also has the potential to trigger conflicts on values and between generations.
The exhibition, which comprises works from Erlangen’s municipal collection and other contemporary approaches, is not only dedicated to the many different forms of family but also examines their future. What significance does family still have today in view of globalised working conditions and pluralised lifestyles? To what extent do networks and friends replace classic family structures? How do bio-digital technologies from artificial insemination to surrogate motherhood change our traditional understanding of family?