|Abstract or Description:
Mining the territory of autobiographical and biographical genres, Auto Emotion highlights the theatrical nature of self-expression. Rather than present emotional expression as an authentic or spontaneous outpouring, it highlights how emotion is produced and presented, packaged and performed. In artworks that draw attention to the public appetite for confession and catharsis, the exhibition questions the idea of the artist as a bearer of subjectivity and authenticity. Working with – and against – tropes, genres and stereotypes of emotional display, the exhibition depicts feelings that range from longing and heartbreak, bereavement and revenge, and emotional states including anger, frustration, abjection, nostalgia, psychosis, and regret. The exhibition highlights the external factors that can trigger outbursts of feeling, from psychotropic drugs and pop music, to hypnosis or smell. Underlying these works is a concern with the boundaries between social conformism and autonomy, brain chemistry and emotion, automatic behavior and self-determination.
The exhibition was accompanied by a public programme including a discussion on art, curating and affect, a screening by artists Sophie Calle and Nikki S Lee, and a performance under hypnosis, as well as a lecture, by artist Matt Mullican.
The exhibition featured work by artists Marina Abramović, Reza Afisina, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Sophie Calle, Andrea Fraser, Rodney Graham, Christian Jankowski, Yayoi Kusama, Nikki S. Lee, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Matt Mullican, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Adrian Paci, Johannes Wohnseifer