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‘In Search of the Miraculous’: from Utopia to Dystopia

The Georgian Embassy in Berlin promotes the exhibition ‘In Search of the Miraculous’, reflecting upon democracy from different perspectives

October 28th, 2019
Marta Faraoni, News from Berlin
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@ Michael Müller, from series: Stripping the Force, 2019 und Levan Mindiashvili, In search of the miraculous, 2019. Exhibition: IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, Berlin 2019. Photo: Heike Fuhlbrügge.

‘In Search of the Miraculous’ is a new contemporary exhibition curated by Dr. Heike Fuhlbrügge. This exhibition is hosted by SCHAU FENSTER, a space for art in Berlin-Kreuzberg, which showcases works of art by German and international artists. On the 31st of October 2019, the artist Kyoco Tanimaya’s book release, ‘Stone Will Flow, Leaves Will Sink’, will mark the closing of “In Search of the Miraculous”.

‘In Search of the Miraculous’ is a new contemporary exhibition curated by Dr. Heike Fuhlbrügge, which ran from the 11th to the 31st of October 2019 at SCHAU FENSTER in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Jan Kage, owner and founder of this cultural centre, invited Dr. Fuhlbrügge to set up a new exhibition to celebrate and reflect upon the 30 year anniversary of fall of the Berlin Wall, and the subsequent peaceful revolution. Dr. Fuhlbrügge accepted this invitation, and decided to organise a political exhibition. The German revolution is used as starting point to reflect upon the evolution of democracy, and the utopian dreams and dystopian realities that emerged after the fall of the Wall. ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ not only explores recent German history, but is also more broadly about democracy within and beyond Europe’s borders. Among the various artists in this exhibition are several well-known Georgian artists, such as David Koridze, Levan Mindiashvili, Uta Bekaia and Salome Machaidze. This exhibition was also promoted by the Georgian Embassy in Berlin, and the same curator, Dr. Fuhlbrügge, recently curated another contemporary exhibition in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Democracy, utopia and dystopia are the keywords of this exhibition, which collects installations, sculptures and pictures from international artists who reflect upon these concepts from different perspectives. The exhibition title, and Mindiashvili’s work from 2019, refer to the artist Bas Jan Ader’s mysterious disappearance in the Atlantic Ocean in 1975. The exhibition curated by Dr. Fuhlbrügge gathers conceptual and performative artworks based on how art can convey myths and encourage reflection. This exhibition shows how art can be employed as tool to reflect upon politics and development of democracy, but it cannot provide a simple answer to these issues. The artworks exhibited in ‘Search of the Miraculous’ are like small pieces of a puzzle reflecting the high expectations of the 1980s and 1990s, and the unrealised political dreams that came 30 years after. Julian Röder’s photos taken from a surveillance airship demonstrate how beautiful views and border control can be seen as two sides of the same coin.

At the same time, Kyoco Taniyama’s sculptures, created from trash but appearing smooth and polished, send a political message. The Japanese artist is emphasising how Japanese society and the Japanese government want to disguise an ugly and messy reality as glossy and perfect. ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ is also a space where artists can discuss the political evolution of their countries after the collapse of the USSR. The Georgian artist Uta Bakaia uses performance art to reflect upon politics in Georgia, and how his country is rediscovering its national culture and independence. ‘Super Humans, the past’ is the second video created by Uta Bakaia, where the artist explores his childhood and traditional Georgian myths. After decades of Soviet dictatorship and censorship, Bakaia expresses how now Georgians are now able to shape a national identity based on Georgian traditions and culture. At the same time, freedom of expression is still not guaranteed. ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ is a critical and thought-provoking exhibition, where German and international artists explore how new borders and methods of control are still present after the fall of the Wall.    

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