"Gallery on the Ruhr | 29.10. – 26.11.2023
'and taking openly whatever he needs'
7 Deadly Sins | 7 Artists | 7 Perspectives An art project by Georg Overkamp
Gallery on the Ruhr | 29.10. – 26.11.2023
Info PDF for download here:
Is the old canon of the Seven Deadly Sins still relevant today? Yes, but not as it was represented and imposed by the Church for centuries. The Catholic Church has historically referred to mortal sins as particularly grave forms of sin through which a person consciously and willfully severs their communion with God. Today, these terms seem outdated, irrelevant, and disconnected from our modern lives. Some things that were once considered sinful are now viewed as neutral or even positive.
We are no longer willing to be confined by predefined norms of behavior, we often scoff at many of them, and we can no longer understand why, for example, physical love between consenting adults (Lust) should be deemed reprehensible. We appreciate an indulgent meal (Gluttony) and indulge in idleness during vacations and leisure time. On the other hand, envy or anger are still viewed negatively.
About the Exhibition Title:
The title of the exhibition, 'and taking openly whatever he needs,' is a quote from the satirical ballet with songs 'The Seven Deadly Sins of the Bourgeoisie' from 1933 (libretto by Bertolt Brecht, music by Kurt Weill).
Today, the play and Brecht's quote appear more relevant than ever as they reflect attitudes that hinder the addressing of existential problems (climate change, wars, exploitation of nature, social inequality): the pursuit of possession and prestige (Greed and Pride), the constant search for personal gain and pleasure without regard for others, nature, and the future.
About the Project's Origin:
In the 1980s, Georg Overkamp, the initiator, curator, and participating artist, studied art and music, occasionally performing as a bard with songs of his own and from other sources, including Brecht. During this time, he also became familiar with Brecht and Weill's last collaborative work: the Seven Deadly Sins. Brecht, who would have turned 125 this year, provided another reason for this project by satirically transferring the clerical catalog of sins from the 4th century to an American capitalist society, secularizing them. Sins that, according to the Catholic view, block the path to heaven, were reinterpreted by Brecht to obstruct profit maximization.
About the Seven Deadly Sins:
"We set out four weeks ago. To try our luck in the big cities." With these words begins the story of Anna, cleverly divided into two characters, the young dancer Anna I and her second (over) self, the singer Anna II. Sent on a "tour" of 7 US cities by her family to earn money for building a house, Anna sequentially commits the 7 ideologically reinterpreted Deadly Sins. Corrected by her family and her second self, she manages to finance the house by selling the "best of herself," her youth, her body, and her morals.
Georg Overkamp uses Brecht/Weill's play as a starting point to explore the significance of the Deadly Sins today, 90 years after its premiere in 1933, and how they can be viewed from the perspective of visual art. The idea arose to have 7 artists create works for each of the 7 Deadly Sins from their own unique perspectives and bring these 7 artistic positions together in an exhibition.
The Project Concept:
7 artists create artworks based on each of the 7 Deadly Sins from their individual viewpoints and present them in 7 separate rooms. These works and rooms form the core of the exhibition. Additionally, there are artistic works and informative elements related to the history and the play, as well as contributions from music and performing arts that relate to the theme.
The journey through the exhibition begins in the large entrance hall, which introduces the theme. An animated film from TH-OWL guides visitors through the history of the canon of transgressions that began in the 4th century AD. An installation of individual sculptures, created by Georg Overkamp, attempts to typify and connect the various sins. Works by Overkamp, who has long been engaged with the theme, complement the display in other places. In the ground floor and the gallery's main floor, 7 artists explore one of the 7 sins in each of 7 rooms from their individual perspectives, presenting specially created works for the exhibition. Decorative elements enhance the connection. Another room is dedicated to Brecht, Weill, and their final stage work, including a spatial and auditory installation.
Each room is unique. Visitors are taken on a journey of discovery from one room to another, encountering paintings, sculptures, graphics, objects, image and video projections, and various types of installations.
The Artist Collective:
| Project Leader/Initiator: | Georg Overkamp | Participating Visual Artists: | Rebecca Gottschick, Lenny Grüttgen, Marayle Küpper, Thomas Schönhagen, Cornelia Schweinoch-Kröning, Wilfried Weiß, Klaus Wiesel
Musical Contributions: Silvester Pece Performance: Theater only connect, Mülheim an der Ruhr"
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