Youth culture is known to manifest itself in a variety of ways. One of its most appealing forms of commonality is fandom: young people feeling aligned with any of the subcultures whose cohesion relies primarily on a fixation with a sports team or popular entertainment (music, film, TV, Internet, digital gaming culture, fashion, literature, comics) and is nurtured by body art, raves, moves or theatrical performances as experimental spaces. Fantum should not be equated with the interest of the “normal” public in pop culture; rather, it takes the shape of a heightened form of popular culture and seeks to differentiate itself. Incidentally, very few visual artists would unequivocally describe themselves as fans of a given band or style of pop music.
The exhibition "Passion: Fan Behaviour and Art" focuses on the realm of rock music. It explores fan behaviour bearing in mind that before the advent of the Internet and social media music fans communicated among each other by writing letters, exchanging pictures, designing posters, publishing magazines, taping concerts and radio broadcasts or decorating cassette covers, often interweaving rumours and fictional accounts with poems and declarations of love in an effort to keep the distance between artists and fans as small as possible.
Through their works the artists in this exhibition examine how the fans’ torrents of passion manifest themselves, which are the objects of desire, and how mass media and pop culture deal with fan attitude. And, naturally, they speak of the rock-musical interests and dreams of their own teenage years. Their works reveal the power of the analog message: when we document something, photograph it, film it, paint it on canvas or on the wall, put it on a pedestal, write it on our skin, it means we take it seriously – all the more so when we question our own fan behaviour. As was to be expected, expressions of worship and homage abound in this exhibition.
The exhibition traveled from the Kunsthaus im KunstKulturQuartier, Nuremberg (where opened on December 16, 2015), to the Mùzeum Ludwig, Budapest, Hungary and the Stadtgalerie, Kiel (Opening: September 9, 2016).
Dave Allen, Juliana Bardolim & Sergey Voronzov, Gilvan Barreto, Eva Beham & Sebastian Tröger, Dirk Bell, Klaus Beyer, Candice Breitz, Laura Bruce, Susanne Bürner, Jörg Buttgereit, Frieder Butzmann, Max Cabello, Yane Calovski, George Condo, Hubert Czerepok, Daniela Dacorso, Walter Dahn, Jeremy Deller, Sven Drühl, Lucas Foletto Celinski, Pablo Garber, Henryk Gericke, Moritz Götze, massoud graf-hachempour, Julia Herbster, Andy Hope 1930, Tibor Horvath, IRWIN, MK Kähne, Klaus Killisch, Cristian Kirby, Helmut Kirsch, Christina Kral, Jonathan Kroll, Jason Lazarus, Via Lewandowsky, Robert Lippok, Catherine Lorent, Claus Löser & Jakobine Motz, Jörg Mandernach, Bjarne Melgaard, Heiner Mühlenbrock, Christoffer Munch Andersen, Stary Mwaba, Hajnal Nemeth, Raymond Pettibon, Elizabeth Peyton, Bettina Pousttchi, Daniel Richter, Pipilotti Rist, Andreas Rost, Miguel Rothschild, Sammlung Burmeister, Chris Sauter, Günter Schickert, René Schoemakers, Sarah Schönfeld, Hans J. Schulze, Greg Semu, Jeremy Shaw, Raf Simons, Elizabeth Skadden, Florian Süssmayr, Sebastian Szary, Keiichi Tanaami, TARWATER, Nahuel Tow, Joris Van de Moortel, Fabrizia Vanetta, Koen Vermeule, Lucas Wahl, Hans Weigand, Michael Wesely, Markus Wirthmann, Adam Witkowski, Ming Wong
Detail from invitation flyer, Susanne Bürner, 50.000.000 CAN’T BE WRONG, 2006, Video, Filmstill, Courtesy of the artist