The themed exhibition Because the Night is dedicated to the motif of night, with all the promise that it holds. Photographic works by Bieke Depoorter, Georg Gatsas, Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo, Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca and Tobias Zielony present the events of those special hours in a variety of (socio)cultural and topographical settings. The many different forms that nightlife can take, the visual languages of various music scenes and the modes of expression of individual subcultures play a key role, as do the dark tonality and specific lighting that reflect the mysterious atmosphere of the night.
Going out, plunging into a crowd of dancing revelers, fleeing everyday life for a few hours and indulging one’s desires: for many, clubs and bars are places of freedom, an escapist paradise, a source of entertainment. The thrill of these visits, however, also derives from the fact that the venues follow their own rules, often finding expression in transgressive and excessive, sometimes even violent behaviour. But, at the same time, they can also offer a place of refuge, safe spaces within which (secret) identities are negotiated or lived out, where subcultures and communities can develop freely outside of the mainstream and away from society’s moral norms and value systems. The exhibition Because the Night presents works by Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Tobias Zielony and Georg Gatsas that examine the complex webs of relationships associated with nightlife and the social values and political stances inherent to them. These enter into dialogue with the radically personal perspectives of Bieke Depoorter and Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo, which offer an intimate insight into the nocturnal processes by which the self negotiates with its environment. The international positions presented in the exhibition are reflections of a younger generation of artists exposed to the turmoil of modern life who move through a complex world charged by political transitions and document it unreservedly.