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 The focus on individual and psychological experiences with the material world, as well as with outdated (moral) concepts, is laid by a series of works dedicated to the growth of longings and desires.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.
Holger Broeker and Elena Engelbrechter