post-title Moritz Koch | Nightmare in Paradise | nüü | 15.09.-28.10.2023

Moritz Koch | Nightmare in Paradise | nüü | 15.09.-28.10.2023

Moritz Koch | Nightmare in Paradise | nüü | 15.09.-28.10.2023

Moritz Koch | Nightmare in Paradise | nüü | 15.09.-28.10.2023

until 28.10. | #4001ARTatBerlin | nüü Galerie presents from 15 September 2023 the exhibition “Nightmare in Paradise” by the artist Moritz Koch.

The 21st century is a time of profound change: People are increasingly seduced by the lure of populism, fleeing the growing complexity of the world and our societies are splitting in the face of a global crisis. How will we look back on our present in the future?

This is one of the questions that the young photo director Moritz Koch (*2000 in Mainz) explores in his new series NIGHTMARE IN PARADISE, which he has been working on for three years, and invites the viewer on a journey into the future.

In the process, he tells of the extraterrestrial being Minerva, who comes to Earth to sensitise people to existential matters. In the large-format works, staged down to the smallest detail, he processes visions of the future, from utopia to dystopia: speed, the search for meaning, the mania for optimisation or climate change are just as much themes as the reflection of interpersonal structures and conflicts. As a purely rationally created being, Minerva increasingly comes into conflict with human emotion during her stay on Earth and realises that political influence, discourse and decisions are made more emotionally and relentlessly than ever before. But this is not the only reason why her mission threatens to fail: almost omnipotent powers try to stop Minerva’s activism – at any price.

The story of Minerva is told fragmentarily in ten large-format photographs – from Minerva’s arrival to Minerva’s wedding to her funeral – with the artist turning to one or more of his main themes in each work, which can also stand independently of the other works in the series. What is special about Moritz Koch’s art, apart from the huge production effort, is that he tells a well thought-out story with his works, into which the viewers:inside can imagine themselves. Similar to a concept album in music, the works in the exhibition hang together, although each work can also stand on its own.

Stylistically, the artist works with a contrast between past and future. Inspired by the 50s and 60s, the aesthetics are by no means randomly chosen, but part of the narrative: the people depicted in Moritz Koch’s world of images take refuge from complex problems and a lack of emotion in a superficial nostalgia. Already today, a veritable recycling is taking place in pop culture – in fashion, music or design, the “vintage” trend is unthinkable without it. At the same time, the works are not as nostalgic and harmonious as they might seem at first glance: when Minerva’s wedding is staged as a “crime scene” or in “In Happiness We Die” an unknown creature arrives through the field, something is wrong, one stumbles and grapples with the work. As a viewer:in, one can return to the photographs again and again because they critically address issues that affect humanity as a whole in the long term.

The digitally shot photographs are elaborately staged like a film: dozens of vintage cars, countless props, special costumes and up to 150 actors with special SFX make-up are staged for a single photo after months of preparation. Nothing is left to chance, so that detailed works of art are created that reveal new details again and again even after prolonged viewing – like large hidden object pictures.

Bringing people together and inspiring an exchange of ideas is particularly important to Moritz Koch – especially in times of social division. Already in the process of creating his works, countless people, most of them volunteers, help to realise the artist’s ideas. Not only professionals are involved on the set: a colourful gathering of people from the most diverse fields, both in front of and behind the camera, creates a special dynamic that welds people together. In this way, people who have had little or no interest in art up to now are introduced to it and, by participating in the creation of the works, overcome their inhibitions about visiting galleries or other places of art and getting involved with them.

The exhibition will be accompanied by multimedia content, for example making-of videos of the productions. In addition, 360° photography will be presented via VR glasses – the artist is attempting to overcome the distance between the work and the viewer and thus create an immersive art experience. By providing a glimpse behind the scenes of the productions, Moritz Koch’s works are to be made more accessible.

Moritz Koch (*2000 in Mainz) is a self-taught photo artist and “photo director”. He discovered staged photography at the age of 16. After several smaller exhibitions, he had a very successful large solo exhibition at the age of 18 in the 800 m² gallery of Mainz City Hall. With his large-format photographs, however, the young artist not only wants to inspire people with appealing aesthetics and trigger emotions, but also to tell moving stories, bring people together and stimulate an exchange of ideas. As in the process of creating his works, the focus is also on people in terms of content. The aesthetics of his works, to which he himself ascribes a “post-futuristic character”, have a nostalgic effect. Visual references to the Space Age or Jackie Kennedy can be found as well as allusions to the American photographer Gregory Crewdson.

There will be an artist talk with Moritz Koch and a guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday, 16 September 2023, 16:00.

Opening: Friday, 15. September 2023, 7pm to 9pm

Exhibition dates: Friday, 15. September until Saturday, 28. October 2023

To the Gallery



Image caption: Moritz Koch, ©Nüü

Exhibition Moritz Koch – nüü gallery | Zeitgenössische Kunst | Contemporary Art | Ausstellungen Galerien Berlin | ART at Berlin

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