Steppenwolf – or the sound of urban space
The exhibition Steppenwolf – or the sound of urban space, curated by the nGbK working group RealismusStudio, centers on vulnerability, loneliness and misanthropy in 21st century society. The exhibition juxtaposes five works – four video installations and one two-part photographic work by Rineke Dijkstra, Ronald Gerber, Christian Jankowski, Nicolas Kantuser and Reynold Reynolds. They all present staged and accentuated versions of the everyday and deal with very marked personalities.
The exhibition’s title “Steppenwolf” leads to direct associations with Hermann Hesse’s work of the same name: to his unsettled main character, to his changes in narrative perspective and to his critique of culture and civilization. Appearing in 1927 the novel was a response reflecting the phenomena of the modern industrialized society of the 1920s and defended, perhaps for the last time, the alternative model of romantic potential and Bohemian life. What do today’s reflections look like?
Today, Steppenwolf stands for a prevailing trend towards self-discovery and existentialism as well as for the corresponding stereotype. As a term, “Steppenwolf” has proved capable of trivialized use as the name of a heavy metal band, of theatre groups, a mountain bike manufacturer and an outdoor gear supplier precisely because it can serve to advertise individualism, a sense of self-will and counter-culture.
The brochure accompanying the exhibition contains an essay by writer and journalist Kito Nedo.
Work group: Christin Lahr, Simon Marschke, Mara Traumane, Frank Wagner, Susanne Weiß
With contributions by: Kito Nedo