Aufwachen! Besser machen! [2013]


13.06.2013 – 10.07.2013

Lichthof Ost in Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Opening on the 13th of June 2013, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m

Kunstobjekt von ...

„From lack of rest, our civilization is ending in a new barbarism. Never have the active, which is to say the restless, people been prized more. Therefore, one of the necessary correctives that must be applied to the character of humanity is a massive strengthening of the contemplative element.“

Friedrich Nietzsche. Human, All Too Human. 1878

Friedrich Nietzsche’s comment is as up-to-date as perhaps never before. Our state of constant flux, limitless availability and non-stop processing of information lead us more and more into a state of restlessness, which is sold to us as progress and engagement.

The downside of this permanent activity and optimization are stress, exhaustion, sleeplessness and burnout. Ever more people reach for smart drugs in their attempt to become more efficient – especially among students doping has become alarmingly accepted. Barely anyone takes time for leisure anymore – a main source of creativity. High concentration and time-management become increasingly important. Big brother is watching not only at work, but also in private, as we feel the pressures of self-control and perfection. Bound in a daily routine of work and studies we don’t have time to rest and sink into contemplative pause. The window of creativity seems to have been closed tight.

Are you working too much?

The exhibition AUFWACHEN ! BESSER MACHEN ! at Kleine Humboldt Galerie shows works of art dealing with the conflict between hope, personal freedom and economic goals. The multifaceted and complex works of art give testimony to the topicality of optimization in today`s global society. Its effects are examined in terms of self-discipline, technical achievements and the tendencies of urban development in modern cities. The failure of these attempts produces new knowledge and opens fresh perspectives that will perhaps lead to higher quality of life. Is the propagated improvement truly an achievement?

In his book Society of Tiredness, the Berlin-based philosopher Byung-Chul Han mentions the collective exhaustion caused by global hyperactivity. Han predicts quite convincingly that this tiredness will increase in the future – if we fail to wake up.

Download the press release PDF here.

Supporting Programme

Film screening on Monday, 24 June 2013, 8.00 p.m., Unter den Linden 6 in the cinema hall.
Fan Jian
: The Next Life. Documentary film. 2011. China/England/Japan. OmU in English

Finissage on Wednesday, 10 July 2013, 20.00, Unter den Linden 6 in the Lichthof.
Hito Steyerl on The Spam of the Earth: Withdrawal from Representation


Larissa Fassler
Giulia Giannola
Gesa Glück
Ce Jian
Fan Jian
Folke Köbberling und Martin Kaltwasser
Eva Kotátková
Mathieu Schmitt
Katerina Šedá
Hito Steyerl
Ma Qiusha u.v.a.

Curated by Meta Marina Beeck.

Special Thanks to Dr. Angelika Keune and Dagmar Oehler.

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