Immortal! The Cult of the Artist

28.10.2008 to 15.02.2009

For thousands of years the figure of the artist has stood at the centre of a multitude of creation myths and even now at the beginning of the 21st century, he is still idealized as the chosen medium of a higher world, one from which his profane contemporaries are barred. With the aid of more than 150 masterpieces taken from the collections of the National Museums in Berlin and the Berlin State Library, 'Immortal! The Cult of the Artist' reveals the highs and lows which this metaphysical apotheosis has lead the artist to and to which it continues to lead him even today.

In doing so our aim is not to focus the visitor's gaze merely on the occidental sphere; in this exhibition images of the artist from beyond the European tradition are touched on to the same extent as the various concepts of the artist from within classical European art history. The exhibition halls at the Kulturforum will serve as centre stage for the event, with the network of spaces providing inspiration for the gripping drama to be played out there over the course of six chapters. In the upper hall, the artist will be shown in the role he has occupied throughout the ages, as that of divine luminary: as 'Creator', as 'King' and as a 'Name' who becomes immortal through his work. In the lower hall, in the sections 'Demon', 'Body' and 'Death', the visitor will be able to step into darker territory, into realms plagued by demons, to which the artistic genius is subjected in his daily existence on earth and through the constraints placed on him by his very corporeality. In the end death stands as the ultimate barrier he needs to cross to reach artistic immortality.

Unsterblich! Der Kult des Künstlers
edited by Jörg Völlnagel und Moritz Wullen
Hirmer Verlag, 2008
264 pages, 250 ills.
24 x 30 cm, hardcover
ISBN 978-3-77745-045-2
Prize: Euro 39,90