TRANSPARENCIES, a group exhibition curated by Simone Neuenschwander and Thomas Thiel at Bielefelder Kunstverein ran from November 7, 2015, to January 17, 2016. It examined the fundamental shifts occurring with the dawn of the digital age and the dilemma of its positive and negative impact.
Artists like Neïl Beloufa, Juliette Blightman, Ryan Gander, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, David Horvitz, Katja Novitskova and Yuri Pattison took part in what would be a two part project taking place between the exhibition at Bielefeld and a symposium in Nuremberg and responds to the cultural facets of (non-)transparency in a globalized climate.
Dealing with the ambivalence of the term in diverse ways, the artists’ reflect on the idea of transparency and a shared sense of insecurity and doubt that comes along with the positive promise of limitless access to information and communication that modern life can offer us. The press releases describes the work as taking a “critical approach to post-privacy society” looking to algorithms, data-drives, and other modes of interpersonal exchange.
Using a family of logotypes that are used by corporations to create transparent products such as clear varnish, the graphic design studio Metahaven developed its own visual identity in the run up the exhibition. In addition, the show continued through a series of talks, workshops, a symposium as well as a project website (www.transparencies.de). There is fluid movement between subject matter and areas of investigation that relate to communication, contemporary history, economics, sociality and biology. However, an overall theme of presence and absence connects the conversation, with its strong focus on how our society handles knowledge.
The Transparencies project was also made into a comprehensive catalogue and publication that features texts by the curators as well as Emmanuel Alloa, Clare Birchall and Manfred Schneider launched at Motto Books on May 17.**
Exhibition photos, top right.