Paganism is the first of the seven parts of the exhibition series Anthropocene, which examines the broader relationship of human to his immediate but also distant natural environment and surroundings. ‘Paganism' - a word used by the Christians to describe ‘inferior’ religions, has traditionally been a pejorative term for polytheism. With the advent of Christianity, belief in anything other than the one and only God was considered heresy and was partially banned. In the eyes of the religious elite, paganism was the religion of the peasants and the uneducated.
Using this definition as a starting point, the exhibition reflects on contemporary ‘paganism’ in a non-theological context, but rather in a socio-political context. What do we perceive as God today, and how have our belief systems changed? The concept is understood as a multiverse of ideas focusing on humanity's tendency to worship objects and falsified idols in a society dominated by images, speedy internet transactions and the pursue of the vision of infinite ‘development’ and commercialisation.
Such a paganism, which has emerged from capitalistic politics, the Internet and new ways of globalised thinking, is no longer to be seen solely as a characteristic of rural life, but rather the opposite - of urban life. The lack of fearful gods to worship and to believe in, and the consequent individualistic perception of the world, has created the need to fill our homes with objects, to buy more than we need, and finally to believe in "false gods".
The exhibition is seen as an effort to investigate the tendencies of our society for consumerism and over-consumption as mainly manifested on the internet, technology and modern daily life. It functions as a critical and humorous metaphor, aiming to propose a pause, a pause for thought:
How much of what we want, do we actually need?
Artists: Katharina Arndt (DE) Bianca Kennedy & the Swan Collective (DE) Michael Pohl (DE) Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo (US/KR)
Artwork on header: Katharina Arndt Bored to death in PARADISE, 2019 LEDs, plexiglass, screws, chain, power supply 190 × 110 cm