press release

Entire strata of the population have been living for a considerable period in an inner somewhere-else. They do not feel bound to what are called the fundamental values of society

—Peter Sloterdijk, in The Critique of Cynical Reason

Our understanding of Lilith's words when Adam expulsed her from Paradise, evokes a twist: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow once meant to be an apocalyptic threat, can also be interpreted as an Arcadian prediction. In this scene from the Old Testament we can discern the three components of a dynamic triangle in the history of art: Lilith (the individual), Paradise (nature) and the city (the collective).

Changing attitudes and ideals determine the relationship between nature, the individual and the collective. This triangle is assembled and rearranged by the artists in this exhibition: beginning with works by G.B. Piranesi, the exhibition acknowledges the romantic vision of cities and landscapes.

This movement traces a reversal of power between the viewer and the object: the environment is no longer subject to the power of the human gaze. Instead we find that the surroundings—be it landscape, city or matter, exert a substantial influence over the viewer.

The impact becomes visible in one of the most famous paintings of the Romantic period, Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer above a Sea of Fog (1818). In Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow we observe how the quietly reflective pose of the wanderer starts moving, jumps into the landscape below and looks back to us from behind this scene.

…A choir of singing men jumps off a building into the air; the hidden space between two walls is forced open to reveal mental processes; clouds of fog lead us into a realm of psychological landscapes; a walk from A to B is transposed into a momento of human contact; bricks sprinkled with glitter embody earthly and otherworldly forces; a medium standing mediates a story to the viewer, eyes stare from hiding places in the walls; and our own reflection is scattered by mirrors…

Works by: Lara Almarcegui (Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam), Stanley Brouwn, Thomas Grünfeld (Hidde van Seggelen, London, Private collection, The Hague), Ann Veronica Janssens (Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp), Suchan Kinoshita (Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam, Nadja Vilenne, Liege), Pieter Laurens Mol (Hidde van Seggelen Gallery, London), Ciprian Muresan (Galeria Plan B, Cluj, Prometeo Gallery, Milano, Wilkinson Gallery, London), Olaf Nicolai (Eigen + Art, Berlin) G.B. Piranesi (Buch – & Kunstantiquariat Hans Marcus, Düsseldorf).

Film programme with works by: Bas Jan Ader (Courtesy of the Bas Jan Ader Estate and Patrick Painter Editions), Hans Op De Beeck (Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing /Le Moulin; Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam), Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács (AKINCI, Amsterdam), Jesper Just (Gallery Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris), Gregor Schneider (Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf).

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Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow
Kurator: Ardi Poels

Künstler: Lara Almarcegui, Stanley Brouwn, Thomas Grünfeld, Ann Veronica Janssens, Suchan Kinoshita, Pieter Laurens Mol, Ciprian Muresan, Olaf Nicolai, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Bas Jan Ader, Hans Op de Beeck, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukacs, Jesper Just, Gregor Schneider