Jonathan Meese's world views and reflections on mythology and the power of art are voiced not only in the mediums of painting, sculpture, installation, and performance; Meese also uses language as a material.
The artist's use of image and text – both playful and thoughtful at once – is at the focal point of this exhibition, which includes works from the last twenty-five years. A look back brings the central themes of Meese's oeuvre into sharp relief. In the early works one can observe the complex first formulations of these themes, including: gestures and insignias of power, male and female warriors, fairy-tale villains, night terrors in the children's room, and the ambivalence of evil. As a counterbalance, the unexpectedly tender appears in Meese's pictorial cosmos.
The artist designed a carpet-diagram exclusively for the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. It provides the topography of the exhibition and thus unites 'Meese's Odyssey' as a Gesamtkunstwerk. In the Greek epic poem the 'Odyssey', the hero Odysseus embarks on a series of dangerous adventures and faces mysterious challenges – and, in the end, returns home changed. For the first time Jonathan Meese comments on his motifs in form of a glossary, extended by a conversation with the artist, as well as by extracts from an interview Sven Michalsen conducted for SZ Magazin.