Introduction – Blow Up! The Growth of Things

Like a rhizome, a widely branching root system, the exhibi­tion Blow Up! is permeated by the most diverse themes of our time, which, in the broadest sense, deal with the growth of things.

As a metaphor for an endless evolu­tio­nary process, a blob, the name of which refers to a species of single-celled organism, arches into the exhibi­tion space as a still undif­fe­ren­tiated lump of material. The power­fully formed sounds in the adjoining space, hurled into the darkness by a female performer, are the result of an intensive exami­na­tion of the idea of a form of commu­ni­ca­tion that is also to be developed.

The idea of tempo­ra­lity is also taken up by the surroun­ding photo­graphs, some of which were taken at night and mark a technical evolution with the early use of color photo­graphy. Other photo­graphs address the expansion, percep­tion, and occup­a­tion of Euclidean, archi­tec­tural, as well as public and (intimate) private space. The focus on indivi­dual and psycho­lo­gical experi­ences with the material world, as well as with outdated (moral) concepts, is laid by a series of works dedicated to the growth of longings and desires.

Other works criti­cally challenge a tradi­tional, expansive pursuit of growth and sense of entit­le­ment. They question struc­tures in the (post)colonial age, carica­ture social and bourgeois conven­tions, and challenge geopo­li­tical claims with their—in some cases fatal—consequences. In addition to the documen­tary approach, humorous strate­gies can also be found. The use of deliber­ately naïve aesthe­tics aims at critical reflec­tions on histo­rical events, tradi­tional symbols, and terri­to­rial boundaries.

In a variety of ways, the new works in the collec­tion negotiate, explore, critique, ironize, carica­ture, and satirize tradi­tional notions of growth. Emphasis is also placed on the temporal and spatial dimen­sions of growth. However, with an impres­sive addition of more than eighty recent donations, the exhibi­tion also focuses on the growth of the museum’s collec­tion itself.

All works in this exhibi­tion were donated by generous collec­tors and artists, to whom the Kunst­mu­seum Wolfsburg would like to express its sincere thanks.

Curated by:
Holger Broeker and Elena Engelbrechter

Curato­rial assis­tance:
Carla Wiggering