Thomas Behling

"Autofahren" – "Driving"

"Autofahren" – "Driving", 2022, 51 x 37 x 19 cm

"Uff – Well-being through aggressive pseudo-solution of cognitive dissonance as hegemonic dominant culture"

In the course of climate change, we are on the verge of passing several tipping points, triggering chain reactions that will mean unstoppable further warming of the planet for centuries - with severe climatic changes, extreme weather, crop failures, famine and flight on an apocalyptic scale. Yes, really: if we believe the science, we are talking about the loss of human habitat on a continental scale. Everything else is superstition.

The thought of it is very unpleasant, especially if your own behaviour contributes to the fact that the disaster can no longer be averted. There are various strategies for dealing with these very unpleasant feelings. One very successful strategy is to fight those who are responsible for our unpleasant feelings, such as scientists or other climate terrorists. This can be combined at will with various other strategies, such as various forms of superstition or board head. Many things are very popular, such as the idiocy of trying to play the economy off against environmental protection or putting the freedom of unlimited consumption above human life and elevating it to a non-negotiable achievement of humanity or using symbolic gestures to clear one's conscience.

We are facing what is probably the most serious cultural crisis in human history: the entire human development of the last 10,000 years is in question. Do we really have to throw it all in the bin and let ourselves be starved back to the Palaeolithic Age - the darkest times of all, mind you, and in this gloom until the end of human existence altogether (in the last comparable climate catastrophes, the planet needed around 10 million years each time to fully recover ecologically).
Or can we, at the last second (i.e. now), still dare to make a huge transformation, in which we can save the really beautiful achievements of our culture without it becoming a major disaster?


Thomas Behling's work deals with the question of how art can still be made in this situation. With his current works, he wants to contribute to a reflection on the situation. In order to understand the extent of the situation, we need a perspective that gives us a greater distance: His objects, often modelled on historical finds, pave the way for insight into the unmasking of appearance, deception and transfiguration. He uses traditional pictorial aesthetics because they conceal much more of our current world view and thinking than we realise and are entitled to. Using supposed remnants of an earlier time, he leads us into the crises and conflict zones of the present, so that what we have already lived through has not been in vain. In his works, he conceals much of what we would like to see and shows how we want to see.

Opening: Friday 31 May 2024, 7 pm
31.5. - 8.6.2024

Open Saturday 1 June & Sunday 2 June from 15:00 to 18:00
and from 3.6. to 8.6. by telephone appointment
Free admission

Freienwalder Str. 31
13359 Berlin

Tel.: 0179 859 37 44
U8 Pankstr. / S Bornholmer Str.