Contemporary artists have their say on the centennial in Israeli exhibition The Kids Want Communism.
Started as an exhibition series at Israel’s Museums of Bat Yam last year, The Kids Want Communism arrived at Kreuzberg’s Kunstraum Bethanien in September courtesy of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. With works by 20 artists, many of them Israeli-based, it’s conceived as an opportunity to discuss socialism in the 20th century along new dialectical horizons.
Curator Joshua Simon states: “Everywhere capitalism is shown, it always brings communism as an option for its radical denial.” However, this engaging and thought-provoking exhibition does not just offer an “us against them” ideology, but considers socialism as an alternative axis that prioritizes all forms of “being together”. In one literal example, New Barbizon, a female collective born and raised in the Soviet Union, presents current-day paintings depicting their childhoods alongside original paintings they made as children.
The exhibition as a whole spans vaster territory, from Olaf Nicolai’s Communist Manifesto illustrated via step-by-step yoga instructions to Ohad Meromi’s “Structure for Rest”, an IKEA-like modular bunk bed built for “daydreaming other worlds”.
Particularly noteworthy is Micah Hesse’s 3D video Types of Stereo, which invites us to think beyond (binocular) human vision itself. Israel’s own history with communism doesn’t go unremarked on, with historical documents from the communist Jewish-Arab Brotherhood and its early struggle against Israel-Palestine ethnic segregation. Join in on the celebration on November 7 with readings and a party!
The Kids Want Communism Through Nov 12 | Kunstraum Bethanien, Kreuzberg