ALPTRAUM (NIGHTMARE) at Visual Voice Gallery

Exhibition: June 18 – 27, 2015
Vernissage: Thursday, June 18, 2015, 5pm – 7pm

Curator: Marcus Sendlinger
Co-Curators: Li Alin, Bettina Forget

Since 2010 Marcus Sendlinger organizes the wandering exhibition “Alptraum” in different countries all over the world. Starting out in Washington D.C., Montreal is now the 13th location of this world wide artist collaboration with the aim to explore the relationship between the individual, the national and the global collective subconscious surrounding nightmares.

“Like George Orwell’s Room 101, in his predictive tale, 1984, we all have our own version of what constitutes a nightmare, and for this reason, the project has been opened to a large number of artists whose many and varied personal nightmare versions, or visions, act to reflect this hugely variable human state of fears and phobias, pain and panic.” (Marcus Sendlinger) The nightmare motif has a longstanding tradition in visual arts with its intertwining of the fantastical, the horrifying and the elusive. The theme has long fascinated artists – from the hellish landscapes of Hieronymus Bosch, Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare (1781), Goya’s The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (c. 1798), right through to the 20th Century, when nightmares became one of the central concerns of the surrealist movement.

But are nightmares individual to all? Like dreams, which have become synonymous with individual ambition? Or are nightmares perhaps expressions of the undesirable unconscious – that common denominator of a community? Do they indicate national archetypes? Or do they simply remain in the grips of the global fears of present age? These are the questions at the centre of the Alptraum exhibition, suggesting answers through the various repetitions of the same theme.

(text: Li Alin)
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