F reedom behind bars: The central exhibition venue is the Old Prison in Wittenberg, which has been purposely refurbished for the exhibition and which is to be made accessible to the public.
The former cells, staircases and communal rooms, the prison courtyard and the façades have been transformed into exhibition spaces – an unusual setting for artists and visitors alike. Many of the works on show have been created especially for the exhibition. Sixty-five of the some 70 artistic positions are being exhibited in Wittenberg itself, complemented by solo presentations in Berlin's Church of St. Matthew and in Kassel.
ST. MATTHEW'S CHURCH
Gilbert & George
T he eccentric Britons artists Gilbert & George are taking their works into St. Matthew's Church, located in the heart of Berlin - a novelty for the British artists, who are better known for their anti-clerical stance.
Often integrating themselves humorously and self-critically into their art, the Turner Prize winners are showing selected photographs from their series SCAPEGOATING PICTURES. The central themes addressed by these works are religious and social conflicts, war and fundamentalism. The Foundation of the Church of St. Matthew perceives the exhibition by Gilbert & George as part of the church's peace-making mission, which also entails combating the demonisation of sections of society and fostering reconciliation without glossing over the harsh realities.
Shilpa Gupta and Thomas Kilpper
he Indian artist Shilpa Gupta and the Berlin-domiciled artist Thomas Kilpper are jointly presenting their works in the Karlskirche in Kassel. Gupta's sound installation I Keep Falling at You investigates the power of language in the digital age. Like a vast swarm of bees, thousands of microphones are suspended from the ceiling, whispering and singing in a disorientating cacophony. Thus the visitor is exposed to the omnipotence of this cloud of words, which is both threatening and alluring in equal measure. Under scrutiny here is the ambivalent seductive potential of words - a theme of central importance not only to people of faith.
T homas Kilpper dedicates himself to the topical issue of refugees: His spatial installation Leuchtturm für Lampedusa (Lighthouse for Lampedusa) is a visionary project outline, an autonomous art work and a political appeal, all in one. Since 2008 the artist has been formulating the concept of a combined lighthouse and culture centre on the Italian island of Lampedusa, which for many refugees is their their first point of contact with Europe – a beacon of dialogue and dignity amidst a sea of inhumanity.