The Brotherhood of Subterranea, 2008, Kunstbunker, Nuremberg, Germany

The Brotherhood of Subterranea

The exhibition continued Judd’s exploration of belief, focusing on marginalised, occult groups and esoteric belief systems, such as witchcraft, shamanism and spiritualism through a staged manifestation of a group of ‘practitioners’ who straddle the boundary between artists and members of a fictional cult. The objective of the exhibition was to construct an underground movement (in both senses) that suggested a secret society, the members of which expressed their allegiance through the fabrication of images and artifacts with qualities that seem coded and cryptic. The exhibition also examined the potential ‘power’ of a curatorial premise to induce belief, or suspend disbelief; artwork could become artifact within the curatorial framework and its original meaning could be manipulated by the exhibition.

The Kuntsbunker is a former Second World War bunker in Nuremberg, converted into a well respected institution, funded by local government, that stages international exhibitions. The Brotherhood of Subterranea led to a series of work that used actors to simulate the ritual activities of occult groups, starting with Observance at the Barbican Art Gallery in 2009.

Download the manifesto