Brainwashed – Sammlung Goetz in Haus der Kunst

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Exhibition overview

Brainwashed is dedicated to the pop cultural phenomenon of the mainstream, which reached its climax in the early 2000s. Characteristic of this mainstream were media formats such as reality TV, Hollywood film productions with the claim of being global events, an advertising industry dominated by self-improvement and an internationally driven star cult with countless music videos. 

The exhibition explores the question as to which manipulative strategies in pluralistic societies were able to create a media consonance, a tone-setting taste in culture, including the propagation of political convictions or even hegemonic views of history.

The selection of works reveals the link between economy, media and politics, which aims at influencing people and maximizing profits. The artists brought together here critically expose commercial visual languages and their contradictory promises, stereotypes and clichés. Their artistic processes of deconstruction include new editing and collage techniques, as well as diverse practices of self-staging, such as medially communicated branding.

The extent to which the mainstream of the early 2000s radically destabilised self-confidence and personal judgement becomes tangible. This also affected the popular images we have of artists. The exhibition strives to raise awareness for these mechanisms of manipulated seeing and feeling, as well as the attitudes of reception influenced by them in event societies.

Curated by Jana Baumann