Eva Maria Schön, Fotopapiere, 1999; © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2005
Exhibition | 11.12.2005 - 26.02.2006

Stabile Seitenlage

On the Complexity of the Visual Arts
As a rule, one associates the expression “lateral recovery position” with “first aid.” It designates primarily an urgent life-saving measure. As the title of an exhibition, however, it suggests that the works of art being shown shake up the viewer, expand his or her lungs, and stimulate his or her consciousness.

Lateral Recovery Position—On the Complexity of the Visual Arts shows works by former Kunstfonds stipendiaries. The ten artists being presented here work with different media, techniques, and materials, thus at first glance, they do not seem to have a shared “thematic” interest or one bound to a particular genre. Instead, these artistic positions make reference to current social, scientific, and political phenomena across all genres. And they do so in a highly subtle, sometimes provocative way. The works on exhibit are marked as much by black humor as they are by poetic sensitivity, historical allusions, and anarchic rebellion.

Moreover, the paintings, sculptures, videos, and spatial and sound installations afford insight into their developmental processes, which do not run in a straight line but are instead erratic, contradictory, and highly complex. The “multimedia arc of reflection” implied by all the artists’ positions time and again guarantees cross-connections and new ways of examining known themes and questions that have erroneously been labeled “exhaustively dealt with.” This explains the unconventional subtitle On the Complexity of the Visual Arts practically by itself.

If considered in this way, the term “Lateral Recovery Position” is a contradictio in adjecto, that is to say, a kind of paradox: if something is lying on its side, it cannot be in a stable position. A leaning object is not immovable, rather it is on the brink of changing its position. Contradiction, the transgression of boundaries, transformation, and processuality are principles upon which most of the very different works in this exhibition are based. They virtually profit from the artists’ interdisciplinary and grappling approaches as well as their pursuit of transferring one genre into another.

The idea and concept for this exhibition were developed by a working group from the Stiftung Kunstfonds consisting of Maria Fisahn, Else Gabriel, Hartmut Neumann, Helmut Schweizer, Bernhard Wittenbrink, and (occasionally) Peter Friese and Sepp Hiekisch-Picard. Lateral Recovery Position—On the Complexity of the Visual Arts was produced in cooperation with several exhibition venues in Germany. After stations at the Museum Bochum, the Galerie der Künstler in Munich, and the Hochschule für bildende Künste and Kunsthaus in Dresden, this exhibition will be presented at the Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen from December 11, 2005–February 26, 2006.

Participating artists: Dave Allen, Mariola Brillowska, Walter Dahn, Stefan Demary, Tamara Grcic, Hans Hemmert, Nana Petzet, Alexandra Ranner, Eva Maria Schön, and Dagmar Varady

An exhibition in cooperation with the Kunstfonds Bonn.

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