The exhibition Just So Stories charts the narrative turn in contemporary visual arts through the work of a selection of young artists from around Europe. The resurgence of narrative techniques and devices in recent art must be seen in light of a renewed interest in figuration, performativity and craft-based practices. It suggests that we are witnessing the end of the conceptual axiom: in a context where old and new media are competing for our attention, artists no longer aim for the punch line but try to make room for the complexity of the world and find common ground for a dialogue with others. In their search for new forms of visual expression, they expand or subvert traditional narrative formats to address issues of identity, history and politics in the age of social media and virtual reality. Whether personal or collective, introspective or extraverted, contemplative or expressive, the narrative threads that run through their work are essentially speculative and unprovable : the hallmarks of 'just-so stories?'.
Artists: Nel Aerts, Paul Gondry, Sophie Jung, Ana Karkar, Max Marion Kober, Stefan Rinck, Emma Talbot, Jennifer Tee, Gert and Uwe Tobias, Sophie Ullrich