An Elixir of Immortality
Oberwallstraße 1, 10117 Berlin
|6 June – 13 December 2020||Saturdays and Sundays 11am — 7pm|
The Schinkel Pavillon presents An Elixir of Immortality – a long overdue Berlin survey of the work of the internationally acclaimed artist, critic and musician John Miller. This comprehensive show covers Miller’s output from the 1980s to the present, demonstrating his astute, witty, and at times poignant commentary on the notions of identity, figuration, economics, social class, and value of art.
The central element of the exhibition is an installation of monumental golden ruins Mourning for a World of Rubbish (2020), featuring a new element referencing the large granite bowl in Berlin’s Lustgarten, that in turn was based on Nero’s so-called Golden Bowl in Rome. Donated in 1828 by Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm III, the Lustgarten bowl became a symbol of German identity since the 19th century and was later used as the backdrop for Hitler’s propagandistic speeches. The ruins, covered with debris and ‘trashy’ fake gold leaf call the self-image of the Western world into question. Presented alongside the civil rights sit-in painting, the soft porn scene, the coquettish looking nun, the devilish Batman with an erected penis, the installation becomes an ostentatious display of the potential decay of values of freedom, equality, politics, economics, and religion.