Spectacle and Role Playing in Contemporary Art

19 August6 November 2016

Shakespeare, As you like it, 1599

What roles do we play in our everyday lives? How do fiction and staging define our reality? What do media images lead us to believe in?

Illusion and Reality

Such questions—triggered, for instance, by social networks in which we present ourselves—take on increasing topicality. Contemporary artists, working in painting, sculpture, and photography, as well as in film and installations, likewise illuminate the complex relationship between appearance and reality. In the process they look to the world of the theater, opera, and ballet, and let themselves be inspired by spectacle, role-playing, and masquerade.

Art and Stage

The exhibition in the Kunsthalle Munich brings together around ninety works from the Sammlung Goetz, featuring more than twenty distinguished international artists, such as Matthew Barney, Stan Douglas, Nan Goldin, Candida Höfer, Ulrike Ottinger, Cindy Sherman, and Jeff Wall. The pieces were created between 1972 and 2013 and therefore serve as a cross section of the interaction between fine art and the performing arts today. The works deal with theater architecture as a cultural and social space and with the illusionism of the stage, examine the importance of the audience, and pose fundamental questions about identity and role models. Many of the works aim not at creating a perfect illusion, but are fascinating precisely because they reveal their own staging.

Featured are the most varied and at times surreal concepts of the world, oscillating between poetry and trash, current political events and science fiction, the classic painting tradition and multimedia installation art.

Exhibition leaflet

Official exhibition hashtags:

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