“The Desire for Freedom: Art in Europe since 1945” opens in Berlin on 16 October 2012
A groundbreaking art exhibition at the GermanHistoricalMuseum in Berlin will examine European post-war art as a whole, gathering artists from both East and West on an equal footing. The exhibition will be inaugurated on 16 October by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE). Art history has been documented often from a Western European perspective. But this exhibition highlights the work of artists across Europe, gathering works by more than 100 artists from 28 Council of Europe member states, and their expression of freedom as a civic virtue. The exhibition raises questions such as: “What does freedom mean for all of Europe after 1945? Freedom from what? From whom? And at whose possible expense? What sacrifices should one make for freedom?” While social reformers and political activists pose these questions, they concern individual artists as well. The Council of Europe gathers 47 member states whose governments work together to sustain the core values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. As a Council of Europe exhibition, the goal is not only to increase the knowledge and appreciation of art as one of the highest expressions of European culture, but also of common human rights values. Running through to February 2013 in Berlin, the exhibition will be shown also at the Palazzo Reale Milan (15 March – 2 June 2013), KUMU Tallinn (28 June – 29 September 2013) and MOCAK, Krakow (18 October – 26 January 2013). It includes a project to create a collaborative network among artists and curators. Cultural institutions and scholars from over 30 countries are participating in this project.