Power! Light!

Exhibition | 12.03. – 10.07.2022

Light > political, social, ecological positions in art

At the beginning of the modern age, artificial light was considered a symbol of modern life. Even though life without artificial light is unthinkable today, it is also associated with light pollution and energy waste, despite technical advancements and undeniable benefits. The exhibition and publication project Macht! Licht! exhibition and publication project at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg presents artistic positions that consciously focus on political, ecological or social statements and critically comment on the use of light – and thus also, in a figurative sense, on the use of resources.

From Plato’s allegory of the sun and the beginning of Christianity with its hope for a world in which there would be no more night, light had positive connotations until the 20th century. Only with the invention of electric light did it take on a negative coloration. In its most extreme application, people are even abused with light: The psychologically as well as physically tormenting being at the mercy of a constant source of light is a means from the arsenal of the euphemistically called “white torture”.

The exhibition Power! Light! does not seek the very large comprehensive spectrum of all possible works of art in which electric light is used in some way, in essential contrast to the light art shows realized so far. Rather, it concentrates on those artistic positions in which light or light artworks in a broader sense have political, social, ecological or economic statements. Based on selected works from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, a fascinating spectrum of works of light art is presented in the darkened hall of the museum, whose conceptual levels of reflection focus on the following (socio-)political areas: Utopia/Dystopia; Ecology/Biology; Economy; Violence/Power; Control/Surveillance; Advertising/Manipulation; Enlightenment/Eclaration; Border/Exclusion; Public Space, among others.


Siegrun Appelt, Awst & Walther, Maja Bajević, Matthias Berthold, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Monica Bonvicini, Madeleine Boschan, Daniel Canogar, Claire Fontaine, Jürgen & Nora Claus, Bill Culbert, Sven Drühl, Sam Durant, Olafur Eliasson, Patrick Fenech, Sylvie Fleury, Petrit Halilaj, Georg Herold, Lori Hersberger, Damien Hirst, Michael Hirschbichler, Stephan Huber, Alfredo Jaar, Christian Jankowski, Anne Marie Jugnet & Alain Clairet, Šejla Kamerić, Brigitte Kowanz, Mischa Kuball, Dominik Lejman, Los Carpinteros, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Tatsuo Miyajima, molitor & kuzmin, Robert Montgomery, Heike Mutter und Ulrich Genth, Warren Neidich, Jens Pecho, Nana Petzet, Daniel Pflumm, Bettina Pousttchi, Tobias Rehberger, Ariel Reichman, Bernardí Roig, Gregor Schneider, Silke Silkeborg, Paul Thek, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Timm Ulrichs, Mariana Vassileva, Peter Weibel, Cerith Wyn Evans, Naneci Yurdagül.


credits :

in the slider:
| Lori Hersberger |  Sunset 164 | 2006 | Neon, schwarzes Floatglas, 1,84 x 3,68 m (Neon) | Installationsmaße variabel | © Lori Hersberger Studio, Zürich | Foto: Hans-Georg Gaul, Berlin |

in the text:
| Warren Neidich | Pizzagate | 2017 | Neon Glas Skulptur | 400 x 500 x 280 cm | Edition 2/3 | Privatsammlung | Courtesy PRISKA PASQUER, Cologne | © Warren Neidich ||

| The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue (German/English) with contributions by Andreas Beitin, Holger Broeker, Jo Joelson, Annette Krop-Benesch, Christoph Markschies, Julia Otto, Michael Schwarz et al from the fields of art history, sociology, biology, theology and philosophy. |