Curated by Nora Mayr & Gilles Neiens
Artists: Maria Anwander, Julius Deutschbauer, Katharina Lackner, Christoph Meier, Max Mertens, Suzan Noesen, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Armand Quetsch, Letizia Romanini, Kay Walkowiak, Ming Wong

Kann Es Liebe Sein? performances:
08.09.2012, 8pm
The Opening Talk
Performer: Suzan Noesen

12.09.2012, 8pm
Zwischen allen Stühlen der Liebseligkeit
Performer: Julius Deutschbauer

‚Love’ is at least as old as humanity itself, bearing both connotations of complexity and triviality, it conjures up notions of heartbreaking romance as well as clichés. It was in the ‘80s when the, then young singer Falco, along with the actress Desirée Nosbusch asked the question “Kann es Liebe sein?” (Can it be love?) in their schmaltzy duet of the same title. Thirty years on, this wonderfully tender song provides us with the backbone of this exhibition examining love. Love between people, places and countries, and love towards objects.

The ideals, fantasies, and definitions of love are reflections of our social values and norms that arise as religious, social, and cultural inflections and influences. The dictionary alone provides four definitions and fifteen synonyms; undoubtedly there are countless more examples. Where Christianity offers the idea of sacrificial love that can bear all hopes, wishes and desires- modern philosophical or sociological perspectives view love as an abstract structural phenomenon. Perhaps it is clearer to understand just how complex endeavors in love are when we consider how late historically this emotion was embraced in the field of psychology, simply because it was deemed too impenetrable as a subject for analysis. In this exhibition, love is explored in its most elementary definition, as one of the strongest manifestations and sentiments of affection and devotion, whether exchanged by humans, or felt towards an object, or towards an idea.

To us as curators the reasons as to why love is interesting within the context of an exhibition became evident in two ways. Firstly, love is increasingly perceived as a surface on which humans project their understanding of happiness. Sven Hillenkamp writes: “There is a historically unprecedented amount of hopes and expectations involving love [...] The era of romantic love does not lie in the past, rather, measured by its conditions, has reached its zenith.” If then, our successes in love is the premises for our wellbeing, the questions concerning who and how we love seem of utmost importance. Secondly, this exhibition is guided by the notion of how art touches us and what importance affection has on our perception of art. Both Lewis Biggs’ theories that art could not have any intellectual strengths without emotional ones, and that within the art-world true feelings often become tabooed, have strengthened our choice to work with this topic.

Kann es Liebe sein? uses its selected works to help navigate through love’s rich landscapes and meanings, unraveling which yearnings and desires are met by disappointments and heart-break. In keeping with Falco and Desirée Nosbusch’s question, this exhibition will travel from Berlin to Luxembourg city and finally to Vienna, and emphasis has been deliberately placed on artists’ positions who either live or work in Austria and Luxembourg. This way, the works form a narrative arc ranging from kitsch-inspired installations, to abstract interpretative works and personal explorations in love. Related areas such as sexuality, intimacy and passion are also part of Kann es Liebe sein?’s scrutiny. Additionally, affection and love are explored as underestimated facets of the process of viewing art itself.

The exhibition aims to shift our awareness from the intellectual aspects to the emotional ones enabling and encouraging a dialogue about an elementary realm that moves us as individuals. Despite the term ‘love’ being readily associated with naive, embarrassing, and at times, even banal personal moments, we want to re-establish a realm in the vein of Roland Barthes’ “small space for love’s affirmation

12.09.2012, 8pm
Zwischen allen Stühlen der Liebseligkeit
Performer: Julius Deutschbauer

In cooperation with:
Grimmuseum, Berlin; Cercle Cité, Luxembourg; Künstlerhaus k/haus and Sammlung Lenikus, Vienna

With the kind support of:
Bundesministerium für Unterricht Kunst und Kultur der Republik Österreich; Ministère de la Culture du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg; Fondation Indépen- dance; Ville de Luxembourg; Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin; Botschaft des Großherzogtums Luxemburg in Deutschland; Ministère des affaires etrangères du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg; Österreichische Botschaft Luxemburg.