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Mouth, lips, tongue, and teeth—speech, pain, and screaming—eating, devouring, spitting, and spewing—lust and passion. The oral cavity is an extremely stimulating bodily zone in the truest sense of the term.

It is, however, not only the experience of sensuality and the ability of the mouth to produce sound and speech, but also the aesthetics of this intimate space that make it so attractive. Although science and medicine have explored the oral cavity since time immemorial, the same can also be said of the history of art and culture—from antiquity to the present day. In the autumn of 2020, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg will trace this broad path in the history of the motif for the first time in Germany. The comprehensive exhibition revolving around the mouth has been developed in cooperation with Hartmut Böhme and Beate Slominski.

On Everyone’s Lips includes painting, sculpture, installation, photography, drawing, prints, and video art, as well as individual exhibits from ethnological and scientific collections, film and advertising, music and literature.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive, richly illustrated publication with essays by Andreas Beitin, Horst Bredekamp, Hartmut Böhme, Roland Garve, Birte Hinrichsen, Uwe Knellessen, Harald Lemke, Karin Leonhard, Jürgen Müller, Uta Ruhkamp, Beate Slominksi, Marcus Stiglegger, and Ulrike Vedder (German/English, approx. 300 pages).

The exhibition and publication project is generously supported by the Cultural Foundation of the Federal States and is being developed in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Hartmut Böhme and Beate Slominski.

Curator: Uta Ruhkamp

Rona Pondick, Little Bathers (detail), 1990/91, plastic, 500 unique pieces, each 6,35 x 12,06 x 10,16 cm, Marc and Livia Straus Family Collection, © Rona Pondick, Courtesy the artist and Marc Straus, New York

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