The art of the 24 artists from or based in Germany presented here provokes a reassessment of the 19th-century ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk, which can be translated as a total, universal art work, or a synthesis of different art forms into one all-embracing unique genre.
Many of these works ask us to think about the boundaries of art, our perception of it, its cultural specificity and its relationship to other disciplines. Running through the works is another, unconscious, quasi-Gesamtkunstwerk: the baggage of post-war German visual culture.
If the work of these 24 artists points to a new kind of Gesamtkunstwerk it is one in which high and low culture, the avant-garde and the historical, the everyday and everything in between can co-exist in a body of works which add up to much more than the sum of their parts.
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