AM I ELEFANT / CRIB CRAB / BOTHERED at Exhibition 'Taking Root', KIT Düsseldorf. Curated by Jurriaan Benschop. Photo: Ivo Faber
AM I ELEFANT / CRIB CRAB / BOTHERED at Exhibition 'Taking Root', KIT Düsseldorf. Curated by Jurriaan Benschop. Photo: Ivo Faber



02.11.2019 – 26.01.2020 

KIT – Kunst im Tunnel
Mannesmannufer 1b
40213 Düsseldorf


"In a world full of conflicting interests and beliefs, how do artists root themselves? Where do they find their sense of direction? These questions underlie the exhibition Taking Root. The assumption is that the eleven artists presented here did find some roots. They have developed a focus in their practice and in their interests, and that is what gives their work depth.

For a tree, life without roots is not possible. It needs a stronghold, right underneath, in order to grow and stay firm, to endure storm and thunder. A young tree can bend, has resilience, but it can only do so because it has already grown some roots. One can assume that, similarly, human beings find some “nutrition” in the place where they grow up. Yet, it is not the only place where this happens. Artists can pick their roots, collect them on their way through life, or search for them in places where they are not yet familiar. After all, humans are mobile beings. And for humans, roots are not just a matter of physical circumstances; they can reside in thoughts, memories, and traditions.


Taking Root brings together the work of eleven artists. Some of these artists grew up close to nature; for others, the city has been their natural environment. Some of them are young artists, who in recent years have finished their master’s degrees and have just started their own studio practices. Others have been working for decades already, and have had more options to develop their roots. Together, the participants span two generations of contemporary artists. Most of them come from Europe, but in terms of landscape and cultural climate, their backgrounds are diverse. One is from the USA, which is itself a country with many roots in Europe. In these days of divisive politics, it is good to discover that  connections are still tight, even though they might move underground. ..."

Jurriaan Benschop


With Nikos Aslanidis, Maria Capelo, Béatrice Dreux, Eiko Gröschl, Nona Inescu, Ida Lindgren, Catherine Mulligan, Katrina Neiburga, Liesbeth Piena, Natascha Schmitten, Rubica von Streng

Curated by Jurriaan Benschop