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Identity

Our individual identity is formed by belonging to and differentiating ourselves from other people, groups and attitudes. Where do we belong, who do we want to be? This question also occupies artists. How is one’s own identity expressed/addressed in the artistic creative process? How do artists relate to people and their particular stories in their works? How do they counter discrimination, such as racism or homophobia, for example?

Would you like to have special superpowers that you could use to influence your everyday life?

Wanting to belong somewhere is part of being human. Where do we belong? Who do we want to be? But it is often very difficult and sometimes painful. Which superpowers would be particularly useful to you in everyday life? Are there qualities that you especially appreciate and like in yourself or in other people? Do you sometimes have the impression that these qualities can be just as strong as superhero powers?

Artist Factory

Artist Arthur Jafa

was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA, in 1960.

Artist Factory

Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

was born in New York, USA, in 1960 and dies there in 1988.

Artist Factory

Artist Keith Haring

was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1958 and died in New York in 1990.

Who tells us who we are?

How do people talk about you? Can you think of words that your friends, family, teachers, or strangers use to address or describe you? Do you take on different roles depending on your environment? Do you sometimes adapt to the environment even though you disagree with it? How do you express your disagreement?

Artist Factory

Artist Arthur Jafa

was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA, in 1960.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Alexandra Bircken, New Model Army, 2016

Four headless mannequins are lined up in a row, one behind the other. Artist Alexandra Bircken has sewn parts of used motorcycle clothing directly onto the plastic bodies with filler cotton and silk tights. The abrasion from accidents on the motorcycle clothing, as well as the hand stitching, act like scars on sculptures. Reuse of already used materials occurs frequently in Alexandra’s works.

Artist Factory

Artist Andy Warhol

was born in Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, USA in 1928 and died in New York in 1987.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Pay attention to the words you use to describe yourself. What tones do you use to communicate about yourself and with others in everyday life? Do you often feel that you are addressed incorrectly or that you do not address other people appropriately? Where do you think misunderstandings come from?

Artwork Factory

Artwork Wolfgang Tillmans, Buchholz & Buchholz Installation 1993, 1993

This room represents an exact replica of the Buchholz & Buchholz Gallery, where Wolfgang Tillmans exhibited his photographs in 1993. Here the artist tested a form of presentation in which photographs, photocopies, and reproductions of magazine pages stand side by side on an equal footing and are distributed throughout the room.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross), 1975

The work on paper is composed of several layers of images: the print based on a portrait photo, a transparency, colored paper and tape. Andy Warhol assembles the portrait of an unknown person using a so-called collage technique. The figure looks at us with captivating eyes in a strong pose.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Arthur Jafa, Monster, 1988/2019

Arthur Jafa points the camera directly at his mirror image. He stares at us with his penetrating gaze. The artist developed the photo at human scale, thus confronting the self-portrait even more directly with the person viewing it. What is notable for his photography is his work on developing sensitive techniques for representing black and dark tones on film. Throughout the image, black and white flow into one another.

Who creates the images of people?

How do you portray other people—your friends, neighbors, family? Do you look for similarities or differences to yourself? To which existing images do you orientate yourself? Where do they come from? Have you noticed that the images sometimes do not correspond to reality? They are staged for a particular audience and appeal to or counteract certain ideas and perceptions.

Artist Factory

Artist Wolfgang Tillmans

was born in Remscheid in 1968. He lives and works alternately in Berlin and London.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Amy Sillman, Fatso, 2009

Amy Sillman’s painting “Fatso” shows in a cartoon-like style, in bright green, the massive, shapeless body of a grim looking figure. We can't tell if the figure is male or female.

Artwork Factory

Artwork David LaChapelle, Recollections in America, VI: Kahlua and Milk, 2006

The photograph is part of the series “Recollections in America” by the US- American artist David LaChapelle. In this photo, a lively party seems to be in progress. But the celebration gets out of hand: a child is given the coffee liquor Kahlua in a flask. A gun and a grenade are lying on the dresser. Is the photo staged or did the photographer take a snapshot of a bizarre party?

How do we show that we want to belong somewhere?

How are the small groups at your school, in your leisure time or at work comprised, what do they form around? What separates and what connects people? Sometimes artists show us through their works the structures that help us to be what we really feel, but which can also slow us down. What means do artists use to express belonging or rejection?

Artist Factory

Artist Keith Haring

was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1958 and died in New York in 1990.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Wolfgang Tillmans, Buchholz & Buchholz Installation 1993, 1993

This room represents an exact replica of the Buchholz & Buchholz Gallery, where Wolfgang Tillmans exhibited his photographs in 1993. Here the artist tested a form of presentation in which photographs, photocopies, and reproductions of magazine pages stand side by side on an equal footing and are distributed throughout the room.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Cady Noland, Deep Social Space, 1989

Numerous objects are arranged around three metal scaffolding poles: kettle grill, beer cans, burger buns, American flag, chips and a Marlboro garbage can, plus some insignia of rural America, such as horse saddles and blankets. But the scaffolding poles that frame everything create an unsettling, even aggressive mood and seem to prevent any free movement.