Gianfranco Foschino, Rearview Mirror, installation view, Warum Kunst?, Kunsthalle Weishaupt, 2018. Photo: Henry M. Linder
Gianfranco Foschino is featured in the exhibition, Warum Kunst?, at Kunsthalle Weishaupt in Ulm, Germany. One of the most spectacular discoveries in archaeology, the 40,000-year-old lion man, the largest sculpture of Ice Age art and the oldest depiction of a mythical creature, is on display at Museum Ulm. It was discovered in the Hohlenstein-Stadel in the Lonetal near Ulm, one of six caves in the Swabian Jura, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2017. Both the declaration as a World Heritage Site and the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, initiated by the European Commission, create an ideal occasion for an exhibition that dives into one of the big questions in human history, the question of what drives the urge for artistic creation and of the significance of art on a global scale up to this date.
Art has existed in all phases of human evolution as a means of expanding consciousness and stimulating insight. Art opens a pathway to the realms of imagination and spirituality, it acts as an appropriation of the world and an interpreter of reality, it questions itself and its own means, it lends the self a unique mode of expression, and it facilitates experience of the phenomena of perception and the senses.
Leaving aside the categorisation of the history of style in favor of tracing the essence, purpose and role of art, Warum Kunst? presents examples from art's past and present. Avoiding a Eurocentric point of view, it also investigates the respective categories of non-European practices.
During this exhibition, Museum Ulm and kunsthalle weishaupt will become places of interaction and cultural exchange, not only addressing the issue of art as a point of social and historic identification with a world facing growing insecurity, but also inspiring a discourse about the future of museums in general.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensively illustrated publication, containing essays by Dr. Karin Dannecker, Dr. Stefani Dathe, Dr. Tilman Allert and Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. Warum Kunst? will be on view from May 5 - October 7, 2018.