press release

Hot/Cold - Summer Loving is an exhibition that presents the pluralistic character of love as it is experienced in contemporary society. It thus takes up position in the contemporary cultural debate about the nature of love, a debate which, although it reflects on love as it forms the intimate bind between individuals, focuses especially on love’s relation to the socio-political sphere. This understanding of love has long inspired and been a subject for reflection for philosophers. Here the essence of love is understood as an affirmative desire directed towards an “other”. It signifies that affirmation which does not reduce the “other” or, as Jacques Derrida wrote, does not destroy the “otherness” of the “other”.

In the opinion of many authors (Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri), the experience of love reflects social mechanisms conditioned by social and political structures. From this perspective, love is not just an experience that takes place in a sheltered alcove, in the private sphere, to which as a Dionysian-type experience or expression of desire that should be hidden, tempered or expunged, it has been not infrequently driven, but rather becomes an essential element of a society whose mechanisms are easier to understand or change through love. Contemporary considerations of love draw their source amongst other things from the conviction that we live in the age of the end of love, in which love is becoming a product that is giving way to contractual couples. It is perceived as one more commodity in the economy of the capitalist world, from which it is a long way to the ideas of the revolt of 1968. Perhaps it is because of this that the image of love in commercial culture is seen in terms of great and fulfilled emotions that are supposed to bring solace for the failings of a consumption society standing on the threshold of the age of the end of love. The contemporary discourse about love is therefore most often a consideration of its social and political senses. The exhibition Hot/Cold - Summer Loving demonstrates whether the senses find their reflection in contemporary art, whether the political and social contexts have caused the intimate context to evaporate and whether the discourse on the theme of love in art is the discourse of a society at the age of the end of love? The exhibition Hot/Cold - Summer Loving shows the diversity of love, from love coming into being in a variety of configurations, to love fulfilled, desired, awaited or “not waited for”, to love linked to suffering, politics, aggression, the erotic and the body as it is a Lacanian object of desire in love.

The exhibition’s title references the scale of emotional temperatures and simultaneously the season when the show takes place, a season when love seems especially sought after and desired. The ‘warmth’ of ‘summer loving’ lies at the center of the scale and suggests a kind of love that observes a distance and refuses to plunge headlong into the illusion of fulfillment. This love proves a true affirmation of the ‘other’ rather than an attempt at conquest.

Exhibition Catalogue Hot/Cold - Summer Loving, Polish/English versions with contributions by Maria Brewinska and Benjamin Cope.


only in german

Kurator: Maria Brewinska

mit Adel Abdessemed, Dan Acostioaei & Ann Wodinski, Pilar Albarracín, Robert Arnold, Miroslaw Balka, Louise Bourgeois, Jiri Cernicky, Tracey Emin, Andrea Fraser, Leszek Golec & Tatiana Czekalska, Jesper Just, Agnieszka Kalinowska, Zbigniew Libera, Mads Lynnerup, Jadwiga Sawicka, Aleksandra Ska