Falckenberg Collection 13 May — 27 August 2023


The exhibition RIDICULOUSLY YOURS?! ART, ENTHUSIASM AND AWKWARDNESS includes works by around 100 artists from all over the world and spans the period from early modernity to the immediate present. The works presented, which encompass a multitude of artistic strategies and range from photography, painting and drawing to sculpture, installation, video and film, are shown within a special environment that will guide the viewer through routes containing different thematic sections. These sections feature works by numerous important artists: from Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia, René Magritte, Giorgio de Chirico and Sturtevant, Alfred Jarry, Sigmar Polke and Martin Kippenberger to contemporary positions such as Paul McCarthy, Nicole Eisenman, Fischli & Weiss, Isa Genzken, Pauline Curnier-Jardin, Kiluan-ji Kia Henda or Ming Wong.

RIDICULOUSLY YOURS?! flirts with the humor of catastrophe, bad taste, the camp approach, B-movie culture, science fiction and horror, but also with immaturity, idiocy, intuition, and, of course, passion – not to mention enthusiasm. In modernity since the 19th century in general, and the classical avant-gardes of the early 20th century in particular, there is a very specific dialectic at work: on the one hand, bold innovation, radical negation, and aesthetic dogma - but on the other hand, a certain kind of laughter that formed the basis for the creation of this exhibition project. It is a laughter that is fun and at the same time – without merely wanting to scandalize – undermines all conservatism, bigotry, moral concepts and, not least, avant-garde dogmatisms. By turning against the use of intimidating culture meant to secure unearned privileges, this laughter shows how authority loses its grip, how the pompous gesture and the image of the hero are being invalidated.

One of the most important attitudes or feelings underlying modern and contemporary art is that of enthusiastic awkwardness, which does not shy away from the embarrassing, the unreasonably silly. Enthusiastic awkwardness is undoubtedly associated with a notion of humorous light-heartedness – but just as much with a sense of earnest persistence, against all odds. It is certainly associated with irony – but also with a deeply unironic, rather enthusiastic belief in the necessity and possibility of persevering and continuing with something that has been recognized as unpleasant or embarrassing.

RIDICULOUSLY YOURS! gives importance to experimentation and active, undogmatic communication not only in the works, but in the structure of the entire project. In that sense, as an aesthetic practice, the show implies a conscious form of intuition that takes the risk of ambivalences of meaning, of misunderstandings. A philosophy that tickles the intellectual mind but opposes formalistic intellectualism.

An exhibition by Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Sammlung Falckenberg in cooperation with HALLE FÜR KUNST Styria and Neue Galerie Graz/Universalmuseum Joanneum and Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn.

The exhibition was initiated and curated by Jörg Heiser and Cristina Ricupero.

A large number of the works presented in the exhibition come from the Falckenberg Collection, which is located in the Phoenix-Fabrikhallen in Hamburg-Harburg and has been on permanent loan to the Deichtorhallen Hamburg since 2011. This year, to celebrate the successful twelve-year cooperation and its extension in 2023, Deichtorhallen Hamburg is inviting all visitors to the Falckenberg Collection every Saturday and Sunday from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission. It is Deichtorhallen's decisive goal to make the Falckenberg Collection even better known and to strengthen Hamburg-Harburg as a cultural location.

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Published by the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, concept and editing: Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser, with texts by Charlie Fox, Jörg Heiser, Jean-Yves Jouannais, Eva Kraus, Rhonda Lieberman, Sianne Ngai, Cristina Ricupero, Noemi Smolik, Timotheus Vermeulen; cover: softcover, 18 x 24,5 cm, 256 pages, ca. 340 illustrations, bilingual in German and English, price in museum store: € 35