Sunah Choi / Lukas Einsele / Nadine Fraczkowski / Gülsüm Güler / Oliver Husain / Annette Kisling / Andrei Koschmieder / Pia Linz / Shane Munro / Martin Neumaier / Peles Empire / Sascha Pohle / Katja Pratschke und Gusztáv Hámos / Att Poomtangon / Mandla Reuter /  Nada Sebestyén / John Skoog / Adrian Williams / Haegue Yang.

In the globalized world where access to information and the means for mobility have never been so simple for the contemporary artist, being constantly on the move seems to have become the norm. Echo Release is the first ever exhibition to bring together former and current Hessische Kulturstiftung grant recipients. For some twenty years now, the foundation’s travel and studio grant programme has been providing artists – native to or resident in Hesse – with the financial means for substantial stays abroad. To embark on travels is not a new phenomenon – it harkens back to a long tradition. Le Grand Tour has its origins in the travels undertaken in the Late Middle Ages by noblemen and their retinues. From the eighteenth and nineteenth century on, artists and intellectuals of the enlightened middle class had travelled as a part of their education to the art metropolises of their time, such as Paris, Rome or Florence. With the advent of modernism, the spectrum of possible destinations broadened: artists increasingly began journeying further to places such as the South Pacific, the Middle East, and Asia.

How does artist’s mobility in the twenty-first century relate to this history and to what extent does the Hessische Kulturstiftung programme, which offers studios in Paris, London, New York, and Istanbul, reflect and contribute to that long tradition? Echo Release, with works realized solely by grant recipients during and/or after their residencies, reveals how contemporary artists engage in and translate these formative encounters. The artists’ investigations of places are frequently at odds with our vision of a homogeneous globalized world. While the artists engage with the unique characteristics of the places they travel to, either through a direct capture or by reinterpreting and quoting the existing traditions and imagery, they can also challenge the existing concept of exoticism, draw our attention to political and social conflicts, or play with the expectations and clichés which are projected onto different cultures.

In other cases, the focus is not on the characteristics of one location but rather on the decontextualization or impenetrability of it. Place alone can serve as a point of departure for artistic narratives. In a number of works, the drawing up of typologies and portraits, of locations or individuals, contributes to building abstractions that take on a nearly de-localizing quality – the connections to real places dissolve to the extent that the artists construct the places themselves. The sensation of exoticism that can arise within examinations of the foreign or the Other should not befall a negative connotation, but rather be understood as Victor Segalen describes it in his Essay on Exoticism: An Aesthetics of Diversity. The French ethnologist introduces a new definition of this notion that underlines the ability to conceive otherwise. Rather than juxtaposing the familiar and the foreign as opposites, the approaches presented in Echo Release investigate the subtlety of those concepts, revealing their intricate possibilities and complex nuances.

A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Curated by Aurélia Defrance and Anna-Viktoria Eschbach

Presenter: Hessischen Kulturstiftung, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden 

In cooperation with: Curatorial Studies – Theory – History – Critics, Frankfurt / M.

© Nadine Fraczkowski, o.T., 2011.
Installation view, 2013, © Axel Schneider.
Installation view, 2013, © Axel Schneider.
Installation view, 2013, © Axel Schneider.
Installation view, 2013, © Axel Schneider.

ECHO RELEASE / Fellowship Holders of the Hessische Kulturstiftung

21. September 2013 - 24. November 2013


Program /

Friday, November 8, 2013, 7 pm
Lecture by Prof. Dr. Peter J Schneemann: Experience and Proposals of the World. Questioning the Grand Tour as model.
In German language / free of charge

Sunday, November 24, 2013, 4 to 6 pm
Finissage with Catalogue Presentation and Discussion about artists fellowships 
With Inga Farina Petzold (Art Historian) / 
Claudia Scholtz (Executive Director, Hess Cultural Foundation) /
Andreas Diefenbach (Artist) / 
Amalia Barboza (Artist)
Moderated by Anna Viktoria Eschbach and Aurélia Defrance, Curators of the exhibition.