© P. Staff, Hevn, 2022, video still. Courtesy of P. Staff and LUX, London

Opening: Thu, 14.03.2024, 7pm
Duration: Fri, 15.03. – Sat, 04.05.2024
Artists: James Bantone, Laura Gozlan, Leon Höllhumer, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, P. Staff, Chin Tsao
Curator: Frederike Sperling

Perhaps you have experienced it yourself before: A situation was so painful and unbearable that you burst out laughing uncontrollably. It is a defense mechanism of the mind that may seem grotesque and even inappropriate to those around us, but its function is to protect us from feelings of sheer despair, if only at least for a short time.

The group exhibition Bliss, bliss, bliss is guided by the theme of such bizarre laughter. Against the backdrop of an increase in apocalyptic scenarios, the persistence of wars and terror as well as an unimpeded climate crisis that is only escalating further, the show examines conscious and unconscious coping mechanisms of the mind. What impact does the experience of a "declining world" have on the way we feel, desire and relate to ourselves and to others?

Six artists engage with questions like these from a personal as well as societal perspective, exploring moments of ecstasy, desire and excess. Their works show us how the need to escape the world has long been a reality for many. Indeed, withdrawing from it represents a vital act of self-empowerment for many of those who are discriminated against. That being said, to what extent could escaping the world serve as a strategy for (re)appropriating it, or for fostering emotional resilience? 

Some of the works interrogate what happens when we come down from the state of ecstasy, considering how, as we know, feelings of bliss do not last forever. The exhibition's title further reflects the tragedy inherent in the inevitable transience of experiencing bliss; after all, at first glance, the three-fold repetition — "Bliss, bliss, bliss" — may be reminiscent of an ecstatic cry of joy. Yet, it could just as easily be an expression of a persistent yearning — of an endless pursuit…


For more in-depth information about the exhibition, we invite you to take a look at the accompanying brochure.