Conspiracy theories, fake news and alternative facts are in great supply in times of upheaval, because times of crisis are times of conspiracy. From September 21 to November 18, 2018, the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf presents “Im Zweifel für den Zweifel: Die große Weltverschwörung”, an international group exhibition that reveals the power of conspiratorial narratives and encourages critical doubt.
Opening: 20/9/18, 19:00
Julius von Bismarck, Richard Wilhelmer & Benjamin Maus
The attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York or the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy in 1963 are probably the focus of the most prominent conspiracy theories today. The struggle for the truth(s) did not just begin with the “postfactual age” and Donald Trump’s “alternative facts”. In times of increasing digitalization and virtualization, however, uncertainty and the willingness to believe conspiratorial ideas seem greater than ever before. Who can we still believe? Do images and the media lie? Doubt is growing, nourished by the Internet, where conspiracy theorists of all kinds operate in the shadows.
The international group exhibition “Im Zweifel für den Zweifel: Die große Weltverschwörung” examine the power of conspiracy theories and counters them with the visibility of doubt and the possibility of critical doubt. A fake star, surveillance technologies, falsified photographs and forensic research – in the exhibition visitors have to orientate themselves in disturbing situations and ambiguous states.
The exhibition reveals largely hidden doubts that are at play in every conspiracy theory and unveils society’s subconscious. The artists weave a web of fears, dreams, contradictions, doubts and nonsense, showing how feelings of unease can be created, but also offering ways to see through them. Visitors embark on an associative journey through miniature lifeworlds, installations, photomontages, sculptures, and digital architecture with historical and contemporary references, full of diffuse moods and sophisticated analysis. Doubts and fears are pointed out so they can be addressed. The goal is critical doubt, even about itself.