press release

On 8 March 2011, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art will preview a multimedia group exhibition devoted to works by Shirin Neshat, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Yang Fudong. Each of these artists explores the theme of love in different times and cultures through the spectrum of their personal experience, observation and commentary. The exhibition title takes its cue from a 1960s song written by Bert Berns and performed by The Exciters, in which there is the recurring lyric, ‘I know something about love’.

Yinka Shonibare MBE will re-create the installation Jardin d’amour (Garden of Love), which he originally showed in 2007 at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, it will be reconfigured for the ground floor gallery at Parasol unit. In this work Shonibare applies a playfully political perspective to his exploration of the theme of love in the eighteenth-century Rococo period in France. He creates scenes that resemble those familiar to us from paintings of that period. Set in a labyrinth of ivy and grass covered trellis, the installation includes secret hideaways and walks, along which wandering visitors discover The Confession, The Pursuit and The Crowning, three sculptural tableaux of beautifully dressed and affectionately engaged couples. Modelled after paintings by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, these tableaux of headless couples reflect this British-Nigerian artist’s relationship to and observation of historical events.

The Chinese artist, Yang Fudong uses the medium of moving image to explore the theme of love in one of his early works, the 3-channel video installation Flutter, Flutter... Jasmine, Jasmine, 2002. In it, Yang Fudong – known for his critical view on contemporary life in the rapidly changing society in China – looks into the private world of a young Chinese couple. Confused between traditional Chinese values and a modern way of looking at their relationship they question their feelings for one another.

Shirin Neshat examines the theme of love through the lens of gender, as established and enforced since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. In her two-channel video work, Fervor, 2000, Iranian artist Neshat not only highlights the frustration and helplessness of Iranian women in this new paradigm, but also demonstrates how the negative view of love within the revolutionary culture affects natural human feelings.

Slow dance marathon, 2005, by Cypriot artist Christodoulos Panayiotou, explores the social construction of love through pop music and the form of slow dancing. In this video documentation of a 24 hour long performance, a human chain is formed by strangers who slow dance to the music of well-known love songs. This exhibition is accompanied by a publication that includes several essays, published by Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.

only in german

I Know Something About Love
Kurator: Ziba Ardalan

Künstler: Shirin Neshat, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Yinka Shonibare, Yang Fudong