Horror and horror have preoccupied mankind since time immemorial. For the first time, Death and the Devil is an exhibition that spans epochs and genres and explores this unbroken attraction. The spectrum of the 120 works on display ranges from classical painting and sculpture to elaborate installations.
A prologue at the beginning of the presentation illustrates how the history of art and culture is marked by death and horror. It spans from the fantastic demons of the Renaissance exhorting sinful behavior, to the landscapes of Romanticism steeped in ruins and shadows, to the suspenseful figures lurking in early 20th-century horror films. Part of a "cannibalistic" genre that continually revisits its own symbols, characters, and themes, these historical examples serve to contextualize contemporary interpretations of horror.
In the main body of the show, the exhibition brings together works from the last two decades, revealing diverse adaptations of horror strategies and protagonists. Like no other subculture, the goth scene was formative for an aesthetic canon from the late 20th century on. Taken up by designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Rick Owens or Viktor & Rolf, facets of goth fashion first found their way into high fashion, to later become almost mainstream. Musical genres of metal and rock, most closely thematically and symbolically associated with death and the devil, have evolved on a global scale, integrating new political contexts and musical influences. In horror film, too, the dissolution of boundaries is palpable - in terms of genres as well as in terms of where the true source of horror lies and who is actually good and who is evil.
Finally, in the visual arts, the themes of death, doom, grotesque bodies, and transgressive hybrid beings continue to preoccupy contemporary artists. They use a broad and contradictory spectrum of approaches, and their works can evoke a wide range of emotions and associations in viewers, from fear and disgust to humor and romance.
The exhibition at the Kunstpalast brings together exhibits from fashion, art, music and film. Works by artists as diverse as Rei Kawakubo, the Chapman Brothers, Billie Eilish, Lars von Trier, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Mary Sibande and many others are presented. Death metal and the blood-filled sneakers of MSCHF meet contributions from Andres Serrano and Eliza Douglas. What these works have in common is a canonized rule-breaking that transcends the boundaries of society, gets under the skin and captures the imagination.
regular: 12 Euro, reduced: 9 Euro, children and teenagers under 18 years and members of the circle of friends have free admission