artists & participants
September 4, 2021–January 9, 2022
Oil - Beauty and Horror in the Petrol Age
No other substance will have shaped societies in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as much as oil—countless materials and key technologies, cultural products, ways of life, knowledge, visions, values and emotions, as well as conflicts, injustices, and abysses of our time owe their existence to the energy density and transformability of the ambivalently shimmering “black gold.” Concerns about oil wells running dry are as old as the Petrol Age itself. It is, however, not the finite nature of the resource, but rather the fight against global warming and mountains of plastic waste that is now heralding the dusk of the “Petrol Age.” From a fictional future, the exhibition Oil: Beauty and Horror in the Petrol Age (Septmber 4, 2021–January 9, 2022) takes a look back at the petromodernism that has lasted roughly 100 years: What is typical of this time, what is great and beautiful, what is ugly and terrible, and how is all this reflected in art and culture?