Hew Locke’s “Cui Bono” in Der Blinde Fleck

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Hew Locke’s “Cui Bono” is on view in the Bremen Town Hall as part of the exhibition Der Blinde Fleck: Bremen und die Kunst in der Kolonialzeit [The blind spot: Bremen and art in the colonial era]. See link below for full program of events, including a panel discussion and Q&A with Hew Locke, director Christoph Grunenberg, and curator Julia Binter, on August 5, 2017, at 3:00pm at Bremen Kunsthalle.

Description of “Cui Bono”: (by Hew Locke): “The building is a symbol of civic pride and historical power. The Güldenkammer is the type of space that has inspired me for years – very beautiful yet carrying a heavy weight of meaning.  As do the picturesque ships sailing over our heads. I am creating my own ornamental four-metre long ship to replace one of these 16th century models for the duration of the exhibition.

Cui Bono (Latin for ‘who benefits?’) is a question asked in a legal or police investigation when trying to discover who has a motive for a crime. The motive may be hidden and the guilty person may be not who it first appears to be. The criminal may be the person who gains financially, but who has successfully diverted attention onto others. The Hanseatic League may not have taken part directly in the Atlantic slave trade, but Bremen’s prosperity became dependent on tobacco and cotton produced by slave labour in the Americas.”

Description of “Der Blinde Fleck”: In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Hanseatic city of Bremen was a flourishing centre of rapidly growing international trade, profiting from colonial expansion and overseas migration. These global relations also left their traces in the Kunstverein in Bremen which was founded in 1823. To this day, these traces have remained hidden. A research project and exhibition funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation addresses these issues for the first time. It examines the history of the Kunstverein in Bremen within the context of the trade and global connections of the Hanseatic city. It further investigates the colonial implications of works by, amongst others, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Emil Nolde and Fritz Behn. The exhibition uncovers the colonial blind spots in the history and collection of the Kunsthalle Bremen and particularly sheds light on the representation and treatment of the “Other” in early modern art. These European perspectives
are set in dialogue with works by modern and contemporary artists from the African and Asian continent.

For more information, see https://www.kunsthalle-bremen.de/view/exhibitions/exb-page/der-blinde-fleck

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