Wrestle the Bear, 2012
Directed performance by Melissa Steckbauer
Featuring Max Merz as the bear
This work is a part of the exhibition, Cognitio Arsphobiae, curated by Melissa Steckbauer & Alex Tennigkeit
The Wand, Berlin
"We, Melissa Steckbauer and Alex Tennigkeit, are pleased to announce our first co-curatorial venture; in our exhibition project we address the transgression of fear. Fear is often experienced as a vacuous and irrational power, something which limits our
emotional, physiological, and spiritual conditions. In this exhibition we explore the
useful aspects of fear by first acknowledging it's daily presence in our lives, from
development forward. We recognize that it is an important resource, providing
information regarding our survival, the outside environment, and our own bodies; it is a
vigil against harm. From the psychoanalyst, Fritz Riemann* it is also clear that there are
phases of development wherein the overcoming of certain fears belongs to certain stages
of development. I.e., only those people who have overcome said fears move into the next
round of living and those who are retarded by fear are immobilized in life. Despite
recognizing these limits of our biological and sociological positions, we as artists have
the potential to use our fears as propulsion to hurdle ourselves into new levels by
exploring the lost chapters of our personal narratives. Instead of giving fear more power
over us, which may lead to the impetus to hide or contract, we are willing to experience
pain and thus widen our awareness. We will transgress our fears in order not to sit at the
level of "afraid"; the selected artists deal with this theme in variegated ways, from
explicitly political to personal and poetic.
*Fritz Riemann (1902–1979) was a German psychologist. In 1961 he published the book Grundformen der Angst [Basic Forms of Anxiety].
Together with the graphic designer Catrin Sonnabend, we will produce a 48-page, black
and white catalog."
Photos: Alex Tennigkeit & Mike Terry
To see the complete works from that exhibition, click.