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_tod und tanz
solo exhibition by Assen Janev

10 - 26.03.2022


we are spinning to the sound
until losing our senses
we give into the rage
of our inner obsessions
we seek maximum bliss
and crash into the surreality of our reality
we celebrate existential emptiness
as a senseless normality
we live next to the abyss
monstrously absent
and ever so close to tipping over


In a confusing, not always rationally explainable world of modernity, which is increasingly overshadowed by materialism and the loss of human measure, the impression of growing insecurity and general alienation among us grows more and more. Thus, aspects such as failure, inadequacies and suppressed emotions emerge; the feeling of an ominous mood spreads.

Fears and insecurities are increasingly shaping our attitude to life, including the way we deal with reality. First and foremost, the fear of our own transience. Consequently, we cling to things; to the body; to everything transient. And believe in what we see. The impression arises as if we were in a permanent „state of emergency“. A state in which all life forces are spent on prolonging life as much as possible. This is reflected in the cult of the body and the youth craze. In greed, the need for time, the hectic pace and the feeling of missing out on something. In the panic that we are running out of time.

But is not this confrontation with the great ‚darkness‘ only the echo of our own disorientation? Isn‘t this repressed knowledge of death the root of the dilemma? What makes us mutate into a kind of society that has lost the sense of the good and unique life?

At a time when natural sciences give us the feeling that many dangers are under control, the great biological danger, death, must seem like total ‚incapacitation‘ to us modern people. But the call of the memento mori is and remains omnipresent. Death is one of the few supra-temporal themes that transcends borders and cultures. It is the consistent champion of the equality of all individuals and the constant companion of life. It is the common thread of all our endeavors; the closing point behind all the stories that life tells. And so we humans, as fleeting apparitions arrested in our lifetime, walk in the cyclical becoming and passing, in the cycle of new beginnings and endings, in search of permanence and perpetuation of our existence.

Assen Janev takes us into the uncanny and uncertain. And invites us to the ‚dance of death‘ of life, not as a rebellion against the inevitable end, but as a dance to life.


Assen Janev, born in Sofia, studied art and media sciences, history and political science at University of Konstanz/Germany; currently based in Base/Switzerlandl. Assen Janev is a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of media including photography, collage, drawing and painting. He explores the mechanisms of medial representation and the ambiguity and construction of human identity. The focus is on questions of individual and collective transformations, memory and transience, diversity and migration as well as personal and collective myths.

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