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The New Human

THE NEW HUMAN is a videobased exhibition project that explores the changing living conditions faced by people around the world and envisions a number of different scenarios for our future. The point of departure for the project is the year 2000, the turn of the millennium, and all the works in the exhibition have been completed since that year. A number of seminal contemporary classics will be shown alongside recently produced and less well-known works. The project is being exhibited at Moderna Museet Malmö in two comprehensive chapters: You and I in Global Wonderland in 2015 and Knock, Knock Is Anyone Home? in 2016. These will be followed by a third chapter shown at Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 2016. The project is made possible by a comprehensive collaboration with the Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf and will include works by some twenty internationally active and widely acclaimed artists selected from that collection, from The Moderna Museet Collection, and from other external sources.


You and I in Global Wonderland explores hopes and dreams, but also feelings of uncertainty, fear, and frustration about how people should and could live together in a new world. We get to share experiences of gigantic transformation and human migration brought on by war, climate change, and economic globalization. We are confronted with the political and religious extremism of our time, and we are reminded of how our colonial past continues to affect the way we approach and treat one another today. This chapter conveys a sorrow for something lost— perhaps an earlier life ruined by war. But at the same time, the exhibition is permeated with a pulsating humanity and shows us examples of both the disorientation and the comedy that can arise from confrontations between different cultures, languages, and lifestyles.


The project’s second chapter, Knock, Knock, Is Anyone Home?, catapults us further out into a virtual universe of hyper-real avatars and parallel worlds. Here we encounter human-looking characters that appear to have mutated with communication technologies and capitalist strategies to become something Other, something that on the surface looks human but is fundamentally nonhuman. A number of the works seem to point towards a shift—perhaps a reversal of human evolution, or a transformation into something new. We enter worlds in which language can no longer be connected to what we see. Known categories dissolve, new amalgamations seem to be emerging, and the conditions on which human existence depends appear fundamentally uncertain.


Contributing artists: Ed Atkins, Trisha Baga, Yael Bartana, Robert Boyd, Loulou Cherinet, Ioana Cojocariu, Cao Fei, Esra Ersen, Isaac Julien, Helen Marten, Santiago Mostyn, Adrian Paci, Tomáš Rafa, Mika Rottenberg, Frances Stark, Ryan Trecartin, and Ferhat Özgür.


Curator: Joa Ljungberg

21.5 2016 – 5.3 2017

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