press release

THE NEW HUMAN is a film and video-based exhibition project that in several chapters explores our human condition in a fast-changing world. How do we perceive and understand ourselves as humans? How do we live, socialize, organize and control each other? And what kind of future awaits us?

All the works in THE NEW HUMAN were produced in the years from the turn of the millennium to today. This period has been deeply influenced by the terrorist attacks in USA on September 11, 2001. The hope inspired by the Arab Spring has given way to war and humanitarian catastrophes; extremist violence is on the rise, especially in poor countries; and nationalist and neo-fascist movements and parties have been strongly established throughout Europe. Today, we see the largest number of refugees since the Second World War.

Alongside these geopolitical developments, mind-boggling technological progress has raised the issue of what it actually means to be human. Global digitalisation has fundamentally changed our way of relating to the world around us and to each other, and the dividing line between real and virtual reality is fading. Some researchers even claim that we are heading towards an era when technology has grown so complex, intelligent and self-generating that humans will no longer be able to control it.

THE NEW HUMAN offers insights into a global warzone of religious fanaticism and political extremism, but also highlights examples of solidarity and compassion. The exhibition oscillates between the hysterically absurd and deeply serious and we seem to be skirting the borderline between final disaster and the formation of something new. A question that arises is whether it’s even going to be feasible to be “human” in the long run, or if the new beings that are evolving – hybrids, avatars and robots – are, in fact, the new humans.

The exhibition features works by: Adel Abdessemed, Ed Atkins, Robert Boyd, Esra Ersen, Harun Farocki, Kerstin Hamilton, Daria Martin, Santiago Mostyn, Ursula Mayer, Adrian Paci, Tomas Rafa, Frances Stark, Hito Steyerl, and SUPERFLEX.

Curator: Joa Ljungberg