Gallery Zero: “As We Meet”
This exhibition explores the nature of coming together. It looks at the meeting of minds and of people across art history, allowing different worldviews, personal and political stances to face each other and come into conversation.
The exhibition brings together works from around the world, and looks at acts of meeting, of reunion, of coming together. A meeting can be joyful, a relief, a pleasure; it can also be forbidden, hidden and conflicted.
This exhibition celebrates those invisible threads that tie us together, those glances, moments of schism and renewal. We must remember our global community, the power of our universal connection; that we all need each other, need other people. A reunion is a monumental moment; as uniquely powerful as it is universal.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
George Hendrik Breitner
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Gilbert and George
“Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art)”
In 1937, Germany’s Nazi government held an exhibition in Munich entitled “Entatrtete Kunst”, or Degenerate Art.
Artwork that was not purely figurative or decorative was seen by the Nazis as a threat to German traditionalist values, to the future of the country and the way of life of its people. As a result, they held this exhibition, to publicly denounce the works of artists such as Matisse, Dix and Beckmann, who have come to be seen as some of the most mesmerising and influential artists of the past century. Some of these artists’ seminal works are brought together here.
It is perhaps ironic that many of these works rose to prominence through their seizure by the Nazis and eventual resale through the opaque channels of the art market. Many of these pieces remain in public museum collections, far from the families from which they were stolen.
This gallery is here to look transparently at history’s more challenging moments, where art, and its destruction, were used as a means of oppression, or submission, and the ways in which these moments were, or were not, overcome.
Quotes on the walls are drawn from the original “Entartete Kunst” exhibition catalogue and are recreated here to give recognition to how far we have and have not progressed, since this dark moment in our recent history.
Artist Space: Phoebe Boswell and Bumi Thomas
VOMA’s first solo exhibition will feature the uniquely brilliant work of Kenyan-British artist Phoebe Boswell.
Working through drawing, animation, film, sound, performance and interactivity, Boswell explores personal histories, place and placelessness. Her practice is anchored to a restless state of diasporic consciousness. She creates layered, deeply immersive installations to centre and celebrate the nuance and complexity of communities, voices, hearts, and histories which, like her own, are often systemically marginalised, simplified, passified, homogenised, or sidelined as ‘other’.
For VOMA, Phoebe will create a unique work responding to the space, along with a soundscape created by Scottish-Nigerian singer-songwriter Bumi Thomas; part of VOMA’s Digital Firsts Commission Programme.