DAWN OF HUMANITY – ART IN PERIODS OF UPHEAVAL
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Stefanie Kreuzer
Stephan Berg, Florian Illies, Stefanie Kreuzer
Petra Hollenbach, Köln
22 x 27 cm
Hardcover with pearlescent effect
The book and exhibition present works from the first two decades of the twentieth century from the Kunstmuseum Bonn’s collection in dialogue with contemporary creative positions. What the works have in common across the distance of a century is their genesis in, and reflection on, a time of major social and political crisis. Back then, life had been profoundly changed by the industrial revolution; nowadays, climate change, wars, and the rising political power of right-wing ideologies are transforming the life of our communities. The presentation conceives art as a tool that lets us interrogate the world and imparts fresh intellectual impulses, and so also plays an active part in our societies. The title Menschheitsdämmerung – Dawn of Humanity – is borrowed from the poetry anthology of the same title released by Kurt Pinthus in 1919, which samples the Expressionist lyric poetry of the young century in four chapters: “Downfall and Outcry”; “Love Human Beings”; “Awakening of the Heart”; “Entreaty and Indignation.” Florian Illies, who already wrote an afterword for the 2019 centenary edition of Menschheitsdämmerung – the bestselling poetry anthology in the history of German literature – contributed the keynote essay in the book.
Artists: Nevin Aladağ, Francis Alÿs, Kader Attia, Yael Bartana, Rebekka Benzenberg, Monica Bonvicini, Andrea Bowers, Heinrich Campendonk, Louisa Clement, Max Ernst, Georg Herold, Franz M. Jansen, Alexej von Jawlensky, Käthe Kollwitz, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Max Liebermann, August Macke, Helmuth Macke, Goshka Macuga, Marie von Malachowski-Nauen, Carlo Mense, Zanele Muholi, Heinrich Nauen, Grace Ndiritu, Anys Reimann, Deborah Roberts, Daniel Scislowski, Paul Adolf Seehaus, Tschabalala Self, Monika Sosnowska, William Straube, Emma Talbot, Hans Thuar, Lawrence Weiner