FLORES Y MUJERES – FROM THE HIERLING COLLECTION
15.10.2022 – 26.02.2023
Four years ago, a small, 68-year-old text by the Bolivian-Swiss writer Eugen Gomringer caused a great stir. In the small poem, the founder of Concrete Poetry combines the three words "avenidas," "flores," and "mujeres" (boulevards, flowers, and women) several times, adding two more words at the end: "un admirador" (an admirer). Applied to the facade of the Alice Salomon Hochschule in Berlin-Hellersdorf, it aroused the ire of gender activists studying there. They considered it sexist because they felt it turned women into objects of male gaze. The poem was eventually painted over. Women and flowers are frequent motifs in the visual arts, especially in the paintings of the expressive realists. From the Hierling Collection, corresponding paintings of this generation born around 1900 are now presented together with the Gomringer poem. In doing so, the exhibition stimulates an examination of questions that arise again and again when dealing with art. What weighs more heavily: artistic freedom or moral imperative? The need to express erotic fantasies or respect for the opposite sex? Must erotically connoted art fail because of the accusation of the lustful objectification of its models? Must male lustfulness give way to feminist criticism? The exhibition wants to make people sensitive to these issues and yet at the same time invite its visitors to a lustful contemplation of art.
2023 in the museum
Walter Becker, Trio 3 oder Im Bad, 1968, Öl auf Leinwand, Sammlung Hierling, © Rechtenachfolge Walter Becker