Mira Dayal & Beto Shwafaty - curated by Alessandro Facente

The exhibition 'I Kept Getting These Dreams,' conceived by New York-based curator Alessandro Facente for the Kunstverein Dresden, presents works by two artists that visualize the social, political, and natural uncertainties of contemporary life. At the same time, it explores the psychology of the growing readiness to use violence in crisis situations. A wall installation by New York artist Mira Dayal enters into a dialogue with a readymade sculpture and a sound installation by São Paulo-based artist Beto Shwafaty. In addition, the works interact with Dresden's museum landscape.

Facente's exhibition concept is inspired by Otto Dix's iconic painting 'The War' (1929-1932), a major work in Dresden's Albertinum with which the artist countered the heroization of war in public perception. In contrast to this propagandistically charged view, Dix unsparingly showed the cruel effects on the population. In the years following his time as a soldier during World War I, the painter was repeatedly afflicted by post-traumatic stress disorder. In his diary he noted, 'I kept having these dreams.'

Even though neither the member states of the EU nor the USA and Brazil are in a real state of war, it can be seen that the political upheavals of recent years have led to an increase in racism, social inequality and likewise the suppression of human rights, as well as to baseless conspiracy theories and climate change denial. Accompanying these phenomena are symptoms of stress, a profound polarization of society, and a significant increase in hate crimes. This subliminally waged 'war', which is primarily fought out in social media and mostly tacitly tolerated, not only obscures our view of reality, it simultaneously creates a hostile underlying mood. The resulting grim images of disease, hatred, catastrophe and death not only influence our visions of the future - they will also once permeate our dreams.

Against the backdrop of this disintegrating present, Mira Dayal and Beto Shwafaty's works send contradictory messages by evading unambiguous answers to misleading and divisive societal narratives, while simultaneously outlining visionary solutions and foregrounding values such as empathy, compassion, and healing.



Mira Dayal & Beto Shwafaty


Alessandro Facente

Duration of exhibition:

March 05 - April 30, 2021

Kunstverein Dresden e.V.


Kunstverein Dresden e.V.
Kunstverein Dresden e.V.
Stiftung Kunst & Musik für Dresden
Adina Rieckmann • Martina de Maizière • Valerie Eckl • Fabian Voß • Susan Donath
Kunstverein Dresden e.V. / Valerie Eckl
Martina de Maizière, Vorstandsvorsitzende der Stiftung


Founded in 2017, the honorary Kunstverein Dresden e.V. has set itself the task of bringing national and international contemporary art to Dresden that is not yet established, but which points the way to the future.

Exhibitions form the foundation of the program, which the Kunstverein Dresden develops together with curators. As a project for 2020/21, the Kunstverein Dresden has initiated a curatorial program in which independent national and international curators have developed exhibition concepts especially for Dresden. The aim is to initiate and communicate art-specific and socially relevant debates through young curatorial settings and artistic positions. The participation of the entire city society and a broad accessibility through events and mediation are objectives for the program of the Kunstverein Dresden.


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