Henrike Naumann: Re-Education (until February 27)

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Example Image, © Henrike Naumann

16.09.2022 - Article

Please join us at SculptureCenter for Henrike Naumann: Re-Education, the first exhibition in the United States by Berlin-based artist Henrike Naumann, on view September 22nd, 2022 – February 27th, 2023.

Naumann’s installations of furniture and design objects are composed as scenes that ask pressing and enduring questions: What is the relationship between design and ideology? How should one read the politics of design? Inflected by her own formative years growing up in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and then a unified Germany, Naumann’s work often considers the social transformations initiated by Western consumer capitalism as it reached former socialist states and ideas of the “good life” that have arisen globally (if unevenly).

At SculptureCenter, Naumann has developed a museum-scaled display of dozens of furnishings and domestic items staged in a critical parody of the dubious “horseshoe theory.” Naumann’s exhibition rejects such superficial categorizations of centers and extremes by conducting an idiosyncratic survey of rural sensibilities in American interior design, from faux-bois chairs to the farmhouse doors of the suburban cul-du-sac.

Naumann’s exhibition references two phenomena: first, the deployment of anti-fascist “re-education” programs developed by Allied Forces to reestablish a footing for democracy in West Germany after World War II; and second, the later, implicit, self-“re-education” after 1989 of those living in former socialist states, such as Naumann’s native East Germany. Reframing dormant Cold War-era geopolitical conditions, Naumann’s project opens a new consciousness of how we live among the ruins of twentieth century ideologies that were exported and reimported by U.S. power over the last several decades — now especially visible to a generation born just as the Cold War drew to a close.

Henrike Naumann: Re-Education is curated by Kyle Dancewicz, Deputy Director, SculptureCenter, with Christopher Aque, Exhibition & Program Manager. Project Curatorial Assistant: Leo Cocar.

Location & Time

September 22nd, 2022 – February 27th, 2023

Thursday – Monday, 12pm – 6pm


44-19 Purves Street

Long Island City, NY 11101

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