NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein is pleased to present Fine people on both sides, and me. the first institutional solo exhibition by the artist Jody Korbach.

Jody Korbach: Fine people on both sides, and me.
October 15 – December 3, 2023
Neue Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen

Lars Eidinger just wanted to understand the world for a moment. The hatred that he experienced brought tears to his eyes, and so he anxiously nibbled at the unpainted nail of his index finger in front of the assembled film press until appreciative clapping relieved him of his abject dismay at the general circumstance. A timid smile by the stage star. Followed later by the gloating of the others.
The man, who just a few weeks earlier had posed with an Aldi-inspired luxury handbag in front of a camp of sleeping homeless people, had thus come to recognise his own inadequacy. But anyone who, from their ivory tower, feels the pain of those worse-off than them, has to position themselves on the right side of history without encouragement. Jody Korbach captured the scene in a watercolor – emblematic of all those moments in which people take a stand, in which they bring the synthesis of their self-reflection, still unpolished, to the outside world, and which are used as key moments for evaluating past and future actions. Sure, it was a stupid appearance by Eidinger, but is empathy to be denied in advance, even if he still has to provide proof of solidarity? Would Korbach have done better? Does she do it better?
With her exhibition Fine people on both sides, and me. at NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Korbach probes the implications of her own position on the political spectrum. She has always been left-wing, but not so left-wing that she would have stuffed a potato into the muffler of some fancy car during her youth. Now she'd like to punch someone in the face. Or thinks she should punch someone in the face. Or thinks she should want to punch someone in the face. Although actually she would like to have some peace and quiet.
"I imagine it would be satisfying to put someone in hospital…" In any case, the fantasy is already fixed for Korbach. Maybe it's a matter of prophylactically hurting the political Right before they continue to harm those they don't want to acknowledge as human beings. Maybe a few burning SUVs are the signal needed to mobilize a vocal majority for the class struggle. Maybe you have to have tried violence before you can categorically reject it. Everyone who didn't kick a Mercedes star off of a car in their youth, however, will have to give their minds a good going over in adulthood if they are going to try out some belated left-wing radicalization in the realm of things enforceable by law. #partywennhelmutkohlstirbt lol, gladly also mocking the accidental death of Austrian right-wing populists. But really? Right in his face? It's possible that at some point you'll be too old for so much radicalism. From the sidelines, Korbach approaches a political playing field where the law of the fist is supposed to replace debate. The radical left cheerleader is ready to pounce on her opponents – at least in theory. In practice, she is hindered by her suspicion that she will not be able to feel genuine threat even after taking a proper punch to the face. You can't inscribe yourself in suffering. Angry beatings and tears of consternation are, in a way, related to each other as deficient means of expressing sincere sympathy.
At NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Korbach nuances aggression with a desire for healing. Pharmacy signs launch a longing for criticism and struggle – but please, without pain, for a world in which tolerance of ambiguity is not suspected of masking spinelessness, in which violence need not be a facet of attitude, and in which human dignity is not permanently being groped at, while everyone actually is standing with both feet on the ground of the free democratic basic order. How can we finally get some tranquility? Is it still possible to start a conversation or must everything explode first? In her exhibition, Jody Korbach provides a few answers in between the lines. Which doesn't mean that they have to be right.

Anna Meinecke

Jody Korbach (*1991, Bielefeld)
studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Tal R, Christopher Williams and Johannes Paul Raether. In 2017, she completed her studies as a master student of Christopher Williams. From the
winter semester 2023/24, she will be professor of art and art education at Akademie der bildenden Künste Nürnberg. Korbach lives and works in Düsseldorf