press release

venue: Institute of Visual Culture, Cambridge
Because if it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together

An international group exhibition including major works by Dara Birnbaum, Georg Herold, Martin Kippenberger, Barbara Kruger, Cady Noland, Markus Oehlen, Christopher Wool and Stephen Willats.

Taking Ronald Reagan's US Presidency as its historical starting point, 'Because if it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together' is an attempt to critically examine the parallels between the political and cultural situation of the 1980s and today.

'Disco Bomb’, a work by the late Martin Kippenberger provides a conceptual point of departure for this exhibition. Comprised of a blond wig lying on the gallery floor hit by a mirror ball, the sculpture recalls disco bombings such as the 1986 La Belle bombing in West Berlin, the 1993 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, or the recent bombings in Casablanca and Bali.

'Disco Bomb’ is read as a camp idiom for conceptions of freedom, be they individual or collective. On 14 June this year, George W. Bush said in a radio address: 'Our country's founding generation established liberty and justice on this continent more than two centuries ago, and every generation is expected to protect and defend those ideals. Our duty as Americans is to serve our country, to defend the cause of liberty, and to extend the realm of freedom across the earth. Our generation can proudly say that we are answering that call. '

How do societies and individuals arrive at a conception of freedom that is 'just', what is the correlation between freedom and justice, and can any one conception of freedom be 'just'? Or is justice in the name of freedom and freedom in the name of justice not always in danger of creating new forms of injustice? Does any one conception of freedom not inevitably create new forms of oppression? In 'Le Différend' (1983), French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard proposed a revised notion of justice based on the least injustice possible, knowing that any general conception of justice inevitability creates new forms of injustice.

The works in 'Because if it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together' were produced throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. They continue to be a response to a political situation that confuses the ideological and dialectic difference between a global free market economy and freedom itself. Auszug Pressetext