25 September – 14 November 2021

Vegesacker Geschichtenhaus, Bremen

Zum Alten Speicher 5A, 28759 Bremen


Opening: Friday 24 September 2021, 7 p.m.

Specificity focuses on positions of contemporary art which take the specificity of the own and the foreign as their subject. In different ways, they thematize the image of representation that is read as the specificity of a foreign particularity. They re-polarize the gaze that constructs it as foreign and demonstrate through artistic means that the own is only gained from the experience of the foreign. Even more, they show that the own – before its self-knowledge – is one with the foreign. They represent a unity that is neither linear nor binary, but multidimensional and dialogical. Beyond the inadequate binary thought pattern of the foreign and the own, the disposition of a third space points to the commonality that encompasses and connects us all. Thus, beyond the agenda of promoting distinctions of any kind, the exhibition shows the complexity of a plural subjectivity that realizes itself in the contingency of society. In the dialogical moment of the encounter of cultural and subjective diversity, the lightness and depth of self-assertion is also expressed. In the process, an unspecific specificity emerges that is at the same moment global as well as local, national as well as supranational, bourgeois as well as subcultural, progressive as well as traditional, autochthonous as well as allochthonous: a foreign own that is at the same time an own foreign. Since it unfolds its specificity in the becoming of cultures, its intangibility places it in a complex relationship to the violence of binary markings that attempt to colonize or exoticize it. For this reason, this unspecific specificity is often elevated to a program of self-empowerment and proclaimed as Black identity. Through the diversity of their artistic concerns, the positions within the exhibition illustrate the ambivalence and inadequacy of the dualistic localization between the foreign and the own. For they assert the fluidity, intangibility, complexity, dialogicity, determinacy and indeterminacy of a self that can never be closed off and that affirms itself as foreign own or own foreign across countries and cultures. In this way, they redefine what is foreign and what is own.

The exhibition is sponsored by Senator für Kultur Bremen and Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen.