The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor.
El Lissitzky: Self-Portrait as the Kestner Gesellschaft

July 8 - Oct. 1, 2023

Der neue Mensch, der Ansager, der Konstrukteur.
El Lissitzky: Das Selbstbildnis als Kestner Gesellschaft
The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor. El Lissitzky: Self-Portrait as the Kestner Gesellschaft, Installation view, Photo: Volker Crone, 2023


Dear (Kestner) Gesellschaft,

(So) here I am, again, your El, back home; it does feel like home, here in Hanover, here at the Kestner. It’s been so long ... But as the poet says, hinauf und zurück ...

This exhibition is my anabasis: both at once, a return and a departure; my (ultimate) Proun Room, a habitat of homeco- ming. Die Kunst ist das Leben. This exhibition is (my) self-portrait as an institution: an end- uring act of becoming and a speculative process of self-iden- tification; (my) reflection in a mirror (of an institution).

It is a celebration of my first ever institutional solo exhibition. What an appreciation!

I read in the press release: “With the exhibition The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor, the Kestner Gesell- schaft traces the founding moments of its history and the avant-garde mission. Presented only seven years after the Kestner Gesellschaft’s establishment in 1916, the exhibi- tion El Lissitzky in 1923, was the very first institutional solo show of the Russian artist, marking his groundbreaking position as the announcer of the new vocabulary which revolutionized the formal language of art as well as his role as a constructor of an institutional thinking, based upon the scientific and experiential perception and innovative ap- proach to exhibition’s architecture, strategies of display and a total understanding of artistic creation.” Yes, indeed, I keep saying: Der Weg ist das Schöpferische der Erfindung (!)

Welcome to The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor! What an honor to be hosted here again!

I proudly continue: “This exhibition celebrates the cente- nary of this exhibition by paying a tribute to this significant fact in the Kestner Gesellschaft’s institutional history, a fact which planted a seed for a vast variety of experimental and progressive ideas, reflected in the future program and the institutional identity of the Kestner Gesellschaft. It not only emphasizes the pioneering and visionary aspects, developed by various representatives of the avant-garde, active in Han- nover at the beginning of the 1920s, but it also investigates the long-lasting legacy of that period, and its impact on the museum’s discourse, especially in regards to Dorner’s term of the “living museum” and El Lissitzky’s “imaginary spaces” where the art experience was meant to become more personal, intense, and multidimensional, fitting the life of a new, modern man, inhabiting a constantly changing world, full of contrasts. Conceived as an institutional self-portrait of a prophetic artist, The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor consists of the archival materials and historical positions, set up in a confrontation with the deconstructive and revisionist reading of the modernist paradigm by the contemporary artists.”

White page remains empty in times of global dispersion. Hi- nauf und zurück. (Failed) project for a revolution. Anabasis in ruins.

I am grateful for your trust and generosity. Sincerely Yours,

Text: Adam Budak

With: Michelangelo Antonioni, Willi Baumeister, BEASTER, Johanna Billing, Martin Boyce, Max Burchartz, Heinrich Dunst, The Next Enterprise Architects, Fernanda Fragateiro, Assaf Gruber, John Wood and Paul Harrison, Lajos Kassák, Marlena Kudlicka, Marysia Lewandowska, El Lissitzky, Felipe Mujica, László Moholy-Nagy, Paulina Ołowska, László Peri, Prince Gholam, Florian Pumhösl, Susanne Sachsse, Wieland Schönfelder, Kurt Schwitters, Katja Strunz and Nikolai Mikhailovich Suetin.

The exhibition architecture is being developed by the Vienna-based architecture office the next ENTERprise (Marie-Therese Harnoncourt-Fuchs and Ernst J. Fuchs).

Curated by Adam Budak in collaboration with Robert Knoke and Alexander Wilmschen.

Learn more about the El Lissitzky group show in the exhibition handout .
Learn more about the artists of the El Lissitzky group exhibition in the booklet .

Installation Images

The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor. El Lissitzky: Selfportrait as the Kestner Gesellschaft, Installation view, Photo: Volker Crone, 2023

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Goseriede 11, 30159 Hannover

Patrons / Partners

We thank our patrons for the support of this exhibition.


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