is an effort. The most beautiful effort in the world"
Movement. Populism against Hate" is an interdisciplinary project
initiated by Sebastian Jung for the first time in 2018 at Theaterhaus
Jena. In the year 2022, in the face of the war in Ukraine, many
aspects that the artist communicates here seem frighteningly topical.
deals with sensitive topics: love and politics. Love is difficult to
define, everyone has a different concept of it. It is usually
described as the strongest form of affection and devotion, a strong
feeling with the attitude of intimate attachment that is not limited
to interpersonal relationships. It is a phenomenon that is irrational
and idealised like no other. And that is why it is abused by
politics. Every election campaign appeals to feelings, every party
claims to defend values. At the core of these values, it is often
precisely this feeling of selfless devotion that is claimed and
brought into opposition to the values of the opposing party, which in
the worst case can lead to fear and hatred - the usual mechanism of
Jung explores these mechanisms in his experiment. He has designed a
logo for his "Love Movement" that shows a heart with feet,
reminiscent of a swastika - accidental or intentional remains open.
It is an apt satire on the symbolism of totalitarian regimes, which
often argue with love - for the people, the fatherland or God - and
only ever cause hatred and suffering. Think of the "Z" that
has been spread by Russian ideologues ever since.
made an attempt to counter populism with his own means. To do this,
he assembled an eight-member think tank from representatives of the
visual and performing arts, literature, pop culture, science and
politics, which dealt with the phenomenon of love on various levels.
They wrote short texts directed against racism, fascism and
intolerance of all kinds. Much of it can be read like political
appeals. You make propaganda against hate, for love. Perceptive,
emotional and not always gentle.
Jung adds a manifesto to this exchange of ideas, which is staged
acoustically. It sounds like an attempt to define love. It shows how
all-encompassing and controversial this concept, this feeling and our
ideas about it are: "Love is its own proof and its own
contradiction," it says. This contradiction, with often polar
perspectives on the same love, causes relationships to fail. And so
the manifesto is followed by a conversation between two lovers who
can no longer get together because of their differences. It is
intimate, touching and sad. One cannot shake the feeling of being an
unauthorised witness and yet cannot stop following the conversation.
artist follows the text with three series of paintings: Artificial
flowers, drawings from an erotic fair and mobile phone photos. The
drawings are 108 small formats, all made in one day during a visit to
the erotic fair in Berlin. Quick strokes, schematic, hard facial
features, mask-like facial expressions, affected gestures - elements
that are characteristic of Sebastian Jung's drawings. Yet the artist
is not concerned with drawing caricatures or denouncing anyone. As
Sophia Pietryga writes: "Rather, the area is shown that contains
all parts of society: loneliness, sadness, banalities, but also funny
moments; Jung does not exclude us, does not delimit us, but shows
that the unreflective, need-oriented is what is human".
mobile phone photos tie in with the themes of the drawings. They are
often shot quickly and unnoticed from the hip. They are everyday
observations that do not shy away from the supposedly ugly, without
moral or aesthetic judgement, but with a critical, compassionate eye.
The photos are complemented with short texts that deal ironically
with the depictions.
the artificial flowers, Jung creates an interesting turn in the
concept. Plastic flowers are hardly the epitome of fine aesthetics.
Kitschy, cheap, garish. The artist rescued a slew of them from the
dustbin in an Asian supermarket. He picked them apart, rearranged the
flowers and gave them a new sensuality. He then made drawings of
these flowers, combining them with short texts reminiscent of a diary
of failed love. The work has an intimate character and conveys a
vulnerability and sensitivity that is otherwise rarely shown in
public, perhaps even more rarely by men. The latter is not
insignificant; Sebastian Jung counters clichés of masculinity in
many of his works. In "Love Movement", hurtful, but also
wounded and vulnerable masculinity is addressed on several levels,
not only in the art flowers.
the exhibition at Kunstverein Rosenheim, the artist has designed a
sculptural work. An artificial flower with a wire stem that seems to
grow out of a paving stone, a stone that was thrown during a
political demonstration on 1 May. It is a work in which love,
politics and populism come together on a symbolic level.