The Ninth Art
– 2 April 2018
Hidden behind the “ninth art” are comics, a medium that has recently developed into an artistic field of experimentation following in the footsteps of the success enjoyed by the graphic novel format. Three exhibitions are currently on show in three museums in Oldenburg on this theme, illuminating the history of the medium, current trends, and dealing with difficult subjects using pictorial narratives. The exhibitions are designed as three separate chapters of the same story.
The Stadtmuseum Oldenburg deals with the first chapter and takes a look at the history of the comic in its show running from 3 February to 2 April 2018. The exhibition traces the cultural and developmental history of comics from the late 19th century to the present day, from the early prints by the Swiss illustrator Rodolphe Töpffer to Walt Disney, Art Spiegelman and Will Eisner, whose iconic comic strip drawings form the central theme of all three exhibitions in Oldenburg.
The second chapter is looked at in the Horst-Janssen-Museum under the title of “Graphic Novels in Germany Today”. From 3 February to 6 May, the work of thirteen contemporary comic illustrators will be on display. Under the spotlight are not only the books, but also original drawings and sketches illustrating the history of the development of the works. Visitors will learn about the individual approaches, artistic signatures and narrative structures of the illustrators. Included in the work on display is that by the Leipzig-based graphic artist, Anna Haifisch, who will be offering a workshop on comic illustration on 18 February in the Horst-Janssen-Museum.
The third and final chapter of this collaborative exhibition bears the title of “Unwanted Stories” and is presented from 1 February to 3 April 2018 in the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art in Oldenburg. There will be graphic novels and the artistic works inspired by them on show, dealing with more serious topics in the medium of comic drawing, including psychological narratives, contemporary forms of slavery and a digital reconstruction of a concentration camp. On 1 February, there will be an artist’s talk with Viktoria Lomasko, the author of “Other Russias”, a collection of journalistic graphic narratives dealing with current injustices within Russian society.
All three exhibitions can be viewed with a combi-ticket costing seven euros (or 3,50 euros for concessions) which is valid until the exhibition run closes.