press release

Exit Art wants to tell you war stories through the vision of nine international artists. Love/War/Sex considers memory, history, weapons and personal stories. As a cultural center, our mission is to reflect what is going on in our society. We respond to current global conflicts by presenting this exhibition, Love/War/Sex, a comment on our culture’s fascination with, and addiction to, war. The title itself demonstrates the paradox of what war is, a combination of emotions, passions and idealistic convictions. This exhibition connects longing with violence and love with war, imagining the business of war in all its sensual manifestations.

Exit Art is known for its unique exhibition and installation design that heighten the concept of the show. The installation of Love/War/Sex, conceived and designed by Papo Colo, is an innovation in exhibition design and presentation, in part for its inclusion of real weapons of war. Choosing these objects, these “readymades”, and applying their historical contexts to the exhibition, creates an environment that provokes and confronts the viewer with the real tools of war. The idea of exhibiting weapons as art hearkens back to Leonardo da Vinci, who designed weapons for a living, and allows one to experience both the extraordinary craftsmanship and design of these killing machines.

Another installation approach was to wallpaper the exhibition space with texts of personal experiences of the war. This allows the viewer/reader to evoke images from the text. Here, the force of the narrative replaces the object and gives the viewer another kind of visual imagination, creating a sacred space for meditation. Taken from newspapers, magazines and soldiers’ blogs, the texts make one think of war in terms of these intimate stories. The juxtaposition of these weapons and the wall papered texts creates a stage for the exhibition and the public.

Jakob Boeskov’s apocalyptic video War Wizard depicts lustful soldiers and their “wizard” enemy as they invade a little boy’s dreams. The “wizard”, who embodies at once Jesus, Osama bin Laden and an Iraqi prisoner, is tortured with sex and violence by dancing soldiers. Margot Herster presents an insider view of Guantanamo politics with This is an introduction tape, a video of the families of detainees telling their relatives to trust the lawyers representing them. Referencing sports and porn as stimulants, Tessa Hughes-Freeland’s ‘educational’ video Watch Out! explains how explicit films can warp the minds of young men. Fawad Khan fuses car culture with war imagery to create a sexy but violent wall painting that evokes the chaos of a suicide bombing. Ellen Lake’s short film Betty + Johnny combines digital video and home movies shot in the 1930s and 40s to tell the story of a love lost during World War II. Rebecca Loyche’s three-channel video installation, All’s Fair in Love and War, is a disturbing portrait of a weapons specialist who teaches military personnel how to kill. Guerra de la Paz presents Crawl, a sculpture of a dying soldier, and The Kiss, an intimate photograph of two soldiers embracing. Francesco Simeti’s Watching the War combines landscapes and images of the war in Afghanistan to create deceptively ornate wallpaper. Nick Waplington’s photographs juxtapose images of life at the war front and back at home.

Curators: Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo

only in german

Kuratoren: Jeanette Ingberman, Papo Colo

mit Jakob S. Boeskov, Margot Herster, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Fawad Khan, Ellen Lake, Rebecca Loyche, Guerra de la Paz, Francesco Simeti, Nick Waplington