Brilliant Diletantes – Subculture in Germany in the 1980s

Curator: Mathilde Weh, Visual Arts, Goethe-Institute

Exhibition Dates: January 5 – January 26, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, January 5, 2018, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

In partnership with the Goethe-Institut San Francisco, Pro Arts is proud to host a multimedia exhibition, Brilliant Dilletantes – Subculture in Germany in the 1980s. Curated by Mathilde Weh (Visual Arts, Goethe-Institut, Munich), this exhibition includes a diverse selection of photos, posters, albums, cassettes, videos and interactive sound stations.

This exhibition presents the most comprehensive survey to date of this extraordinarily innovative subculture, highlighting the work of the bands Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft/D.A.F. (Düsseldorf), Der Plan (Düsseldorf), Die Tödliche Doris (Berlin), Einstürzende Neubauten (Berlin), Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle/ F.S.K. (Munich), Ornament und Verbrechen (East Berlin), and Palais Schaumburg (Hamburg), as well as various artists, filmmakers and designers from West and East Germany.

Describing the inspiration for the exhibition, curator Mathilde Weh writes, “Brilliant Dilletantes has come to stand for a brief era of artistic renewal in West and East Germany in the mid-1980s, a period when people in all the arts explored new paths and innovative forms of expression. Rather than persisting with the cause for world revolution, energies were channelled into achieving alternative ways of life between atomic doomsday and anti-consumerism, anti-US protests and militant squatting, feminism and homosexuality, drugs, punk and New Wave. The rejection of normality was epitomized by a conscious eschewal of craftsmanship, ignoring boundaries between genres and opposition to aesthetic conventions, by pleasure in provocation, unbridled expressivity and the aesthetics of shock.”

ABOUT THE GOETHE INSTITUTE:

Goethe Institute is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. They promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. They convey a comprehensive image of Germany by providing information about cultural, social and political life in our nation. Our cultural and educational programs encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement. They strengthen the development of structures in civil society and foster worldwide mobility. The Goethe Institute’s long-lasting partnerships with leading institutions and individuals in over ninety countries create enduring trust in Germany. They are a partner for all who actively engage with Germany and its culture, working independently and without political ties.