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Niklas Taleb: Live in Paris, Installation view, 2021, Bonner Kunstverein. Courtesy the artist and Lucas Hirsch, Düsseldorf. Photo: Niklas Taleb

Niklas Taleb: Live in Paris, Peter Mertes Stipendium 2020

Opening on Friday, 12 November, 7-9 pm
13 November 2021 – 14 January 2022

The photographic subject in Niklas Taleb’s photographs often appears off to the side: a window surface cut at an angle in which an interior is reflected, the close-up view of a drinking glass that distorts the view behind it, or the portrait of a person who closes their eyes in the decisive moment. On the one hand, these images capture something, on the other hand, they obscure or distort something to trigger a certain uncertainty about the true intention of the depiction.

In his new work, produced as part of the Peter Mertes Stipendium, Taleb combines his longstanding interest in documenting his immediate surroundings and social relationships with codes and registers of fashion photography. His take shows that while the photographic image is always tied to reality, it can also pull abstract or surreal strands. Knowing that fashion relies on precisely this imaginary reality to create space for projection and desire, Taleb’s images revolve around the identity-creating potential of photography and the fragile realm between the private and the public.

Niklas Taleb (b. 1986, Munich) studied at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen. His works have been exhibited at The Wig, Berlin (2021); Lucas Hirsch, Düsseldorf; Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof; Neuer Essener Kunstverein; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (all 2020) and Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art, Middelburg (2019). Taleb lives and works in Essen.

Taleb’s presentation at Bonner Kunstverein is accompanied by a publication, designed by Johannes Hucht. The exhibition is generously supported by the Peter Mertes Wine Company.

Founded in 1985, the Peter Mertes Stipendium annually honours two young artists in North Rhine-Westphalia whose artistic practice is supported for the duration of one year by a working stipend.

Please note that to attend the opening, the proof of recovery, negative testing or full vaccination is required.