Altered States - Joachim Koester

20.03.21 - 13.06.21

Joachim Koester’s oeuvre can be described as a stroll through unknown territories, both geographical and mental. The exhibition Altered States brings work together that investigate these borderlands. An ‘altered state of consciousness’ refers to a temporary change in the mental state. The cause is often external, such as a drug or a ritual, but also internal, such as a psychosis or simply a daydream. Koester shares his fascination with the effect of intoxicants with shamans and hippies, but also with psychiatrists. The latter recognised the therapeutic possibilities, but they were also confronted with the destructive power. Joachim Koester’s work delves into the historic context in which drugs were grown, traded and used, and draws parallels with the contemporary situation. Big and small stories impartially reveal our relationship with intoxication.

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