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Wolfgang Tillmans: Sleepwalkers into the Abyss

The artist Wolfgang Tillmans has released a statement stating his gratitude for being a German artist in the UK; his career has been forged from a post-war culture of peace, reconciliation and rebirth. The clean lines and cool aesthetic in his installations are at once troubling, yet somehow they set up more questions than they can answer.

The artist Wolfgang Tillmans has released a statement stating his gratitude for being a German artist in the UK; his career has been forged from a post-war culture of peace, reconciliation and rebirth. The clean lines and cool aesthetic in his installations are at once troubling, yet somehow they set up more questions than they can answer.

They have been exhibited worldwide, and he currently has a new exhibition at Maureen Paley until the 31st July. SEEN will be fascinated to see if Tillmans continues on themes already explored in previous work, that are connected to his feelings about growing up in a Europe that saw the inauguration of the European Union. He worries that the UK’s leaving will enhance the scapegoating of the EU for the free movement of refugees, whilst blindly ignoring the lack of accountability of banking institutions for the financial crises now facing Europe collectively, and as individual nations.

Most crucially, he sees the very things that we as a democracy hold dear and central to our way of life; negotiation and democracy, being dismantled. Are we, in fact, sleepwalking our way to the abyss, distracted by the notions of a disintegrating sovereignty and a loss of inherent Britishness, even as billionaires avoid paying taxes?

Tillmans’ statement is a call to arms, a humanistic response to the fear of change that he has witnessed in the past decades, and above all, a warning; the nationalistic fervour to be seen in the actions of right-wing organisations is worryingly reminiscent of the beginnings of Nazi Germany. SEEN will be visiting Maureen Paley with their eyes wide open.

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Wolfgang Tillmans
09 June – 31 July 2016

MAUREEN PALEY
21 Herald Street
London E2 6JT
Wednesday – Sunday
 11.00 – 18.00
 and by appointment
tillmans.co.uk

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Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

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