Paradise in Transition

19 June - 31 August 2021

Starsky Brines

Björn Drenkwitz

Jonny Green

Florian Heinke

Dimitri Horta

Sam Jackson

Dimitri Horta

Carolein Smit

José Vivenes

In the exhibition “Paradise in Transition” we present works by eight artists from Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland and Venezuela, who interpret the change of the idea of the paradise in very different ways – some of them very humorous. The diversity of approaches alone shows the complexity of the subject matter. This is underlined by the fact that, after the experiences of the past few months, we are now looking at these works with different eyes.

Since its creation, the idea of paradise has been closely linked to the idea of loss and longing and the striving for an ideal world. An idea that has not only been handed down through the writings, but has also been pictorially spread by artists. To this day the longing for paradise is deeply rooted in human society and finds its way into the fine arts over and over again.
In the these days, artists have increasingly detached themselves from the historical and biblical depictions, paradise is increasingly becoming a place of longing, where the alienation of people is being reversed by the industrialization of the world. At the same time, the Garden of Eden is not always associated with the utopia of a healed world. The Fall of Man is also a further central theme of the artistic examination of paradise. Especially since the 20th century, the loss of this ideal place has been associated with human misconduct. It becomes clear that the changing ideas of paradise are also based on political and social developments.

Since its creation, the idea of Elysium has been closely linked to the idea of the inner paradise. In times of crisis this is often associated with the withdrawal into the inner self, but at the same time the “paradise within me” is often associated with dream images, hidden longings and desires. 

The idea of paradise was and is always dependent on the individual life situation of the observer and the social context in which he/she moves, so that the reception of representations of paradise is also constantly changing. This is what makes the exhibition so exciting at the moment.