TURNING POINT

Zeitenwende - Was macht die Kunst Plakat

The much-quoted speech by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the ‘turning point’ referred to fundamental changes in German and Western defense policy following Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. In other areas of society, “turning point” was readily adopted and used for a long-demanded change in all social sectors. The field of meaning of this term moves between passive-fateful catastrophe, which inevitably occurs, and active, shapeable conversion. From painting to performance, 29 artists have addressed the problems of this epochal upheaval or developed approaches to solutions, which the BBK Oberfranken will present in two exhibitions in Bamberg and Bayreuth. September 30th to November 12th and December 6th to 28th, 2023

Thomas Michel's "Annunciazione" oil painting 1

Annunciazione, oil on canvas 180 x 300 cm, 2023

In Christian iconography, the Annunciation plays a prominent role. The announcement by the Archangel Gabriel that the Virgin Mary would conceive and bear the Son of God by the Holy Spirit marked a turning point in the ancient world, establishing a new, still valid chronology and sealing the downfall of the Roman Empire. In “Annunciazione,” instead of an angel, a winged creature appears, evoking ambivalent feelings in the viewer. A death angel? A cyber combat drone from the future? An unknown species from the Pliocene? The paleontological reference of this enigmatic figure places the term “turning point” in a broader context, where the appearance and possible disappearance of the human species become a footnote in Earth’s history, relativizing the significance of the 21st-century turning point.

The series of preliminary designs in printmaking, executed as linocuts and drypoint etchings, documents the creative process.

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