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Beyond the Pain

Book  /  Arnoldsche   Catalogues   Artists   Curating
Published: 11.02.2021
Beyond the Pain.
Madeleine Frey
Editor:
Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen
Text by:
Gernot Böhme, Madeleine Frey, Wednesday Martin, Sebastian Schmitt
Edited by:
Arnoldsche Art Publishers
Edited at:
Stuttgart
Edited on:
2021
Technical data:
160 pages; Swiss binding; 130 illustrations; English and German; 19 x 26 cm
ISBN / ISSN:
978-3-89790-609-9
Price: 
from € 34
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Intro
The publication Beyond the Pain is devoted to the universal theme of pain and the overcoming of it, exemplified by twelve established and emerging contemporary artistic stances. What exactly do we understand by pain? What happens when it is nigh intolerable or can never be overcome? In turn, when can it be a sensual or even enjoyable experience, one which might transform the experience of one’s own limitations into a positive one? And what comes after pain?
In Beyond the Pain it is precisely these questions that contemporary artists explore in the most diverse ways. When read about or viewed, they prompt instantaneous sensations – be it on account of the visual or acoustic stimulus or the story that the artwork engages with – and ambivalence arises between these aesthetic, physical and psychological feelings.

The topics range from world-weariness, torture and trauma, illness and hurt to the voluntary experience of pain and the avoidance of it by means of physical self-optimization. Since pain is only experienced at the moment, it is time-based media above all, such as performance and video, that play a key role here.

Bas Jan Ader, for example, elicits empathy by crying in his video I’m too sad to tell you. The artist collective Forensic Architecture, on the other hand, reconstructs a Syrian torture prison with former inmates in its project Torture in Sydnaya Prison and in doing so transforms their traumatic experiences into the subject of the debate.

Damian Hirst references overcoming physical and psychological pain employing pharmaceuticals in his work The Quay, while Nobuyoshi Araki enacts the Japanese sadomasochistic bondage practice of shibari in his photographs. Finally, wearing a futuristic prosthetic leg, the artist Viktoria Modesta, also a model and singer, appears as a female cyborg in her video Prototype, prompting highly topical questions regarding an optimized version of one’s own self in the age of digitalization.

The texts illuminate various aspects of how a culture deals with pain and possible strategies for coping with it. They discuss what role artworks can take on in such a context and how art interacts with this universal topic. A richly illustrated book that touches on general questions of being human and the feelings of each individual alike.


Artists List
Bas Jan Ader, Nobuyoshi Araki, Harun Farocki, Forensic Architecture, Patrycia German, Anna Gohmert, Damien Hirst, Viktoria Modesta, Barbis Ruder, Marianna Simnett, Maya Watanabe, Gabrielle Zimmermann.


This publication is part of the Beyond the Pain exhibition, presented at Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen, in Germany, until 30 May.
>> Click here for more information on the exhibition.
 

About the author

Gernot Böhme was a professor of philosophy at TU Darmstadt from 1977 to 2002 and spokesperson for the Mechanization and Society Graduation School (Graduiertenkolleg Technisierung und Gesellschaft) from 1997 to 2001. He has been director of the Institute for the Practice of Philosophy, IPPh, Darmstadt, and chair of the Darmstadt Goethe Society since 2005. His work focuses on classical philosophy, in particular, Plato and Immanuel Kant, the theory of science, the theory of time, natural philosophy, ethics,  esthetics, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and biography. Selected books on aesthetics include Atmospheric Architectures. The Aesthetics of Felt Spaces (2017); Atmosphäre. Essays zur Neuen Ästhetik (1995; 3rd edition of the expanded version 2017); Aisthetik. Vorlesungen über Ästhetik als allgemeine Wahrnehmungslehre (2001); The Aesthetics of Atmospheres (2017); Ästhetischer Kapitalismus (2nd edition 2018).

Madeleine Frey studied economics and art history at the Universities of Basel, Cambridge, Lugano, and Freiburg in Breisgau. After positions at the archdiocese of Freiburg, the Buchstabenmuseum Berlin, and Christie’s auction house, Frey worked as a cultural manager and curator at the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, before moving to the Landesmuseum Württemberg. In 2016, she took over as head of the Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen. Her research concentrates on the economics and sociological parameters of the art industry, the examination of feminist discourses, and the critical reappraisal of patriarchal power structures and role models. She has curated exhibitions with Kate Cooper, Ana Navas, Leni Hoffmann, Roman Signer, Capucine Vandebrouck, and Peter Zimmermann, among others. In group shows such as Aktion&Malerei (2017) as well as Martin Pfeifle’s terr! at the Sindelfingen lido (2018) and #Material4.0 (2018), she brings art to new environs and in doing so gains new perspectives and makes new site-specific works possible. She currently also works with time-based media.

Wednesday Martin is a social scientist, #1 New York Times bestselling author, and feminist cultural critic. In her lectures, writing, and public appearances she blends science and storytelling to help her audiences understand themselves - their desires, behaviors, and motivations - better. She has written about gender, parenting, popular culture, and female sexuality for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Telegraph, Psychology Today, and more. Her book Untrue, interdisciplinary consideration of more recent science on female sexuality, was a Kirkus Reviews Best Non-Fiction of 2018 selection.

Sebastian Schmitt studied Arts Management and Cultural Work with a focus on the science of art in Potsdam and museology and art history in Würzburg. He was a student assistant in the Faculty of Media Theory and Science of Art for many years and a freelancer at the Museum der Dinge in Berlin and the Kulturspeicher in Würzburg. He curated an exhibition on the Mail Art movement in the GDR at the Kunstbibliothek Berlin and has worked as a freelance curator on numerous exhibition projects in Berlin und Potsdam. Since February 2019, he has been working as a curatorial assistant at the Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen and was in charge of the exhibitions Crossing Limbo by Marie Lienhard, Schrödinger’s Baby by Tzusoo for Schaufenstere Junge Kunst, and Out of the Dark - 30 Years of the Lütze Collection at Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen. One aspect of his curatorial work encompasses the setting of established and emerging positions in relation to museum and societal discourses.
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