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05.09. – 06.11.2020

Exhibition opening: 04.09.2020, 4 – 9 pm

Opening Hours: Thurs and Fri 4 pm – 8 pm, Sat 12 pm – 4 pm

With the exhibition “Der abscheuliche Kuss” by Sanam Khatibi, Jessie Makinson and Urara Tsuchiya, the Kunstverein Dresden showcases the work by three artists who interrogate historically developed power relations and patterns of thinking which to this day shape perceptions of the supposed Other.


curated by Marie-Charlotte Carrier


This exhibition draws its title from the 12th-century Latin term “Osculum Infame” (The Shameful Kiss), which was believed to be heretics’ ritual upon meeting the Devil. The Devil was thought to take the form of an animal – a goat or perhaps a black cat – and the kiss was to be given under its tail. During the years of the witch hunts in Europe, the Osculum Infame became a tangible accusation against heretics and witches. Instrumentalised as pretext for the fierce persecution and the demonisation of an Other, it was used against any individuals who transgressed the artificial boundaries between nature and culture, dominance and submission. 


The work of the three artists in the exhibition “Der abscheuliche Kuss” – Khatibi, Makinson, and Tsuchiya – precisely explores the wider power dynamics underlying such accusations through an exploration of violence and sensuality across human and animal species. Filled with humour and antagonism, the artists’ paintings, tapestries and ceramics reflect the ambivalence in more-than-human behaviour. As cruelty and care become interchangeable, the scenes present a kind of lust shaped by a constant negotiation between desire and repulsion.


Sanam Khatibi (b. 1979) lives and works in Brussels. She had solo exhibitions at Kunsthal Gent (2020) and BPS22, Charleroi (2019), among others. Other recent exhibitions include: Centraal Museum, Utrecht (2020); the 16th Istanbul Biennial (2019); M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (2019); and MAC, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille (2019).


Jessie Makinson (b. 1985) lives and works in London. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Lyles & King, New York (2020, 2019, 2018); Fabian Lang, Zurich (2019); Galería OMR, Mexico City (2019); Nicodim Gallery, Bucharest/Los Angeles (2018); TJ Boulting, London (2018).


Urara Tsuchiya (b. 1979) lives and works in Glasgow. Previous exhibitions include a solo presentation at Ada Projects, Rome (2020); Frieze, London (2019); Glasgow International (2018), Trade Gallery, Nottingham (2017); and Union Pacific, London (2016).

Special thanks to Peter Rüpschl (Designer), Raymonde Bieler (Architect), Rodolphe Janssen, Fabian Lang, Julie Senden and Gaël Leininger.

Gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen und die Landeshauptstadt Dresden, Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz. Diese Maßnahme wird mitfinanziert durch Steuermittel auf der Grundlage des vom Sächsischen Landtag beschlossenen Haushaltes.

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