November 28, 2015

#EGOUpdate - who are you

EGOUpdate - could it be the most interesting show so far?

We humans are so predictable.
"What do you work with".
Why is that so often the first question we ask when we meet someone new, after we asked their names? Is how someone is making a living what defines them? Should that really be the first question? 
Skateboard ramp with Eric Kessels' collection of feet selfies, at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
Erik Kessels My Feet 2015 
© NRW-Forum Düsseldorf / Foto: Andreas Kuschner/ALIMONIE

Maybe we should ask what they are passionate about instead?

A lot of people also ask the question I really dislike, because I never know what to answer, the question that is so common in an international environment - I ask it too, from time to time:
"Where are you from?"
"Why do you want to know?"  I answer with a question. Do you want to know where I am a local, do you want to know where I live, do you want to know where I was born, or what kind of passport I have. or do you want to know where my family lives - and if you want to know where I was born, or where my family lives, why do you want to know that? Will you know who I am if you know where my family lives? Do you need to put a label on me?

We are very good at putting labels on people... Maybe it's only human. The question is what the labels really say about us? Maybe it says more about the person who is putting the label on someone than on the person who gets the label put on him/her, really? What IS an identity?

Photo of pictures of monkey selfies in a cage at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
David Slater Monkey Selfies 2014 
© NRW-Forum Foto Andreas Kuschner / ALIMONIE
Who are you? Who am I?

And why are you that person? What defines us?

What makes us who we are?

And do we remain the same through life?

Do we humans not have different identities, take on different roles depending on whom we talk to? I believe we do, I believe we always have.

And are we alone with this notion of an ego, a self image?

The exhibition EgoUpdate at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf addresses questions about the notion of identity, about ego, and about the different roles we humans take on.

EGOUpdate could possibly be the most interesting exhibition I have ever worked on or had some involvement in in one way or another, simply because this exhibition does exactly what I personally feel art should do - it moves people. It touches something within. It makes people think, makes the viewer, the participator reflect. There are parts that might shock or at least shake you up - Evan Baden's "Technically Intimate" for example, taking us behind the scenes of sexting, and Arvida Byström, pushing boundaries and discussing feminism, and there are other things that simply make you smile - David Slater's Monkey Selfies being one of them, and Oliver Sieber's photos of CosPlayers.  EgoUpdate is, if you ask me, an exhibition that you remember, and I really don't think it is because I am biased and work with NRW-Forum, I hear this from many of the visitors as well. 
Photo of woman looking at the photos from Evan Baden's series Technically Intimate at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
Evan Baden Technically intimate 2008-2011 
© NRW-Forum Foto Andreas Kuschner / ALIMONIE

Every time I walk through the exhibition, every time I meet new people who are there to see and learn, I learn something new as well, I see something I didn't see before, or reflect on something which is different in the eyes of someone else. When I hear what someone else says about a piece of art and I see the art partly in their eyes, and the exhibition grows on me, even more.

Alain Bieber and his team at NRW-Forum have really, and I have said that before (link to previous post), done a fantastic job putting this exhibition together. I really wish it would be touring not just Germany but Europe - this is one of those exhibitions that really deserves to be seen. And there isn't much time left! 
EGOUpdate has been showing since September 2015 and will be on until January 17. 

Come and join one of the open tours - German tours every Friday at 20:00 (8 pm), English open tours once a month - the NRW Forum website will be updated with the latest information so stay tuned - or book a a private tour or a tour+workshop.

And even if you already saw EGOUpdate, keep an eye on the NRW-Forum website. There is a lot going on, and many interesting events. There is also an exhibition room upstairs, right now the museum is showing "The Embarrassement Show", which is quite fascinating and fits well in together with EgoUpdate.

Chances are you will regret it if you don't go.

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ALL photos in this post are part of the press material from NRW-Forum
Copyright NRW Forum

From the top:
  • Ausstellungsansicht Erik Kessels My Feet 2015 © NRW-Forum Düsseldorf / Foto: Andreas Kuschner/ALIMONIE
  • David Slater Monkey Selfies 2014 © NRW-Forum Foto Andreas Kuschner / ALIMONIE
  • Evan Baden Technically intimate 2008-2011 © NRW-Forum Foto Andreas Kuschner / ALIMONIE

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