Over the past few days i’ve had my stomach turned, my definition of what’s acceptable tipped over and my mind stimulated often enough to be willing to blog about it. I visited 3 exhibitions in Berlin that all deal with blood, guts and anything natural or not that you might find inside the human body.
The first place visited was the prosthetics gallery at the Medical Historical Museum. Then followed a trip to the Hermann Nitsch retrospective at Martin-Gropius-Bau.
But the exhibit that takes the cake (and partially digests it, regurgitates it, and then smears it on the wall) is called “Into Me / Out of Me” at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art.
The exhibition displays the way 132 artists have used the human body (including any substance it expels) as a raw material and subject over the past 40 years. The selection focuses on three primordial relationships between the internal and the external: metabolism (eating, drinking, excreting…), reproduction (having sex, giving birth…), and any kind of pain people might inflict to others or to themselves (shooting, impaling, perforating…). The images of laceration, self-mutilation, decay and birth-giving moments you’ll see there might be utterly repulsive, compellingly beautiful, crude, magical, abject, poetical, shocking, but never dull.
Many of the works that involve scandalous actions and blood date back to the ’70s.