Exhibition: Ludwig Wittgenstein – Contextualizations of a Genius

Contextualizations of a Genius

March 18 to June 13, 2011
Exhibition at the Schwules Museum Berlin
Mehringdamm 61
10961 Berlin

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (24 April, 1889 – 29 April, 1951) is considered amongst the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. His great fame is due in part to his charismatic character, and the intense interest his character aroused can be understood in light of the late 19th century idea of a genius. It was precisely the radicality of his personal decisions, as well as of his philosophical views, which made him a controversial and enigmatic figure during his lifetime.

This exhibition seeks to „contextualize“ Wittgenstein from a variety of perspectives. First of all, we consider his position in the history of European culture and liberal arts, with its highly varied currents from the Viennese fin de siècle to the elite circles at Cambridge. The approach to „contextualization“ can just as well be understood in a geographic sense. Wittgenstein was constantly changing residences, moving back and forth from his birthplace Vienna, his academic activities in Cambridge, as well as his place of refuge at Skjolden in Norway. Characteristic of Wittgenstein was a constant struggle for sincerity and clarity - his search for the „real life“. Two sets of paired opposites, „Sensuality and Asceticism“ and „Speech and Silence“, thus form important leitmotifs in the course of the exhibition. There is almost no document of Wittgenstein’s homosexuality. He never expressed himself explicitly on the topic of sexuality, and his friendships with mostly younger men never became the objects of public discussion. His contemplation of the poles of sensuality and asceticism, guilt and atonement will also be examined in this exhibition.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation
In Cooperation with Wittgenstein Archive, Cambridge and Brenner-Archiv, Innsbruck

For more Informationen please visit www.ludwig-wittgenstein.com

Press kit (German)
A short introduction (German/English)