Consolation – Tracing A Human Need Consolation – Tracing A Human Need
Consolation – Tracing A Human Need
© Oliver Vogt


01. April – 17. September 2023

Opening 31. March 2023 | 6:00 pm


Tracing A Human Need

"Who among us does not know of moments in life when we wanted to be comforted?" (Jean-Pierre Wils)

The current special exhibition "Consolation – Tracing A Human Need" completes the exhibition trilogy on the topic of mourning and commemoration: "Lamento – Mourning and Tears" (2019); "Memento – In the Force Field of Memories" (2020).

The exhibition illuminates the phenomenon of consolation from various cultural, religious and artistic perspectives and reflects on how we can confront experiences of loss and the pain associated with them.

Traditionally, religions are considered a repository of consolation. Religious rituals and concepts give hope and support to both the dying and the bereaved. But people have also always sought and found comfort in literature, in the poetry of language, which can offer empathic comforting identification and connection. Likewise, this is true of music, which can transport us into healing resonances and other dimensions. Nature, encounters with animals, or mementos can also be companions through their presence in times of pain. Human togetherness, comforting conversations, closeness, and community often help to alleviate suffering.

Through contemporary artistic exhibits and cultural-historical artifacts, the exhibition provides visitors with aesthetic and sensory experiences as well as intellectual approaches to make the topic of consolation tangible in its complexity.

Presented are graphics, photographs, videos, audio and sound installations, and sculptural interventions by: Mulugeta Ayene (ETH), Nancy Borowick (USA), Dominic Boyer (USA), Nicola Brand-Distelhoff (DEU), Bazon Brock (DEU), EMPFANGSHALLE – Corbinian Böhm / Michael Gruber (DEU), Dirk Franz (DEU), Hamish Fulton (GBR), Jiaqi Hou (CHN), Cymene Howe (USA), Wolf von Kries (DEU), Alfons Mühlenbrock – Die Grüne Manufaktur (DEU), Terhi Nieminen (FIN), Mads Nissen (DNK), Christiane Rath (DEU), Kerstin Röhn (DEU), Jérémy Lempin (FRA), Gideon Mendel (ZAF), SCHAUM (DEU), THERE THERE Company (BEL), Oliver Vogt (DEU), Stefan Weiller (DEU)

In the series of interviews produced especially for the exhibition, experts from different fields of activity and cultures talk about their concrete experiences in the context of consolation: Louise Brown (journalist and mourning speaker, Hamburg), Viviane Clauss (death companion at the multi-generation hospice Heilhaus Kassel), Jürgen Dahlfeld ("bDas Zeitliche segnen – funerals", Kassel), Emine Duman (social worker and death companion, Kassel), Karin Flachmeyer (midwife at Heilhaus Kassel), priest Martin Gies, (parish St. Antonius von Padua, Kassel), Johanna Klug (author and death companion, Berlin), Prof. Dr. Reinhard Lindner (psychotherapist, Kassel/ Hamburg), Shaul Nekrich (rabbi, Jewish Community Kassel), Stefanie Silber (documentary photographer, Hamburg).

After "Lamento" and "Memento", the artist Ella Ziegler (Berlin) is responsible for the curatorial work for the third time together with Dr. Dirk Pörschmann, with the collaboration of Dr. Ulrike Neurath and museum educator Gerold Eppler.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Wils, professor of "Cultural Theology of Morality with Special Reference to Religion" at the Faculty of Religious Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands has not only written the publication of the same name, he has also profitably accompanied the curatorial process of the exhibition. (Jean-Pierre Wils. Why we need Consolation – Tracing A Human Need, March 2023, S. Hirzel Publishers).

Thank you very much for your great support: Steffen Baraniak
, Lennart Barthel
, Friederike Bartsch
, Viola Blunck
, Tobias Böhm
, Louise Brown
, Viviane Clauss
, Jürgen Dahlfeld
, Emine Duman
, Karin Flachmeyer
, Martin Gies
, Annette Henkel
, Jonas Hering, 
Elisa Klapheck
, Johanna Klug
, Silke Körber, 
Hamburg Leuchtfeuer, 
Reinhard Lindner
, Murtaza Mannan
, Zeshan Ahmed Bajwa Naeem
, Shaul Nekrich
, Carsten Reiter, 
Friederike Seidel
, Stefanie Silber
, Scheveningen Surf
, Jens Steuber
, Andrea Teiser
, Ralf Walter
 as well as all artists present in the exhibition and the lenders.


"Consolation – Tracing A Human Need" digital


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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz