Overview publication:
Perception is Reality – Frankfurter Kunstverein 2015 to 2020

The perception of things starts with a sensory experience. Humans experience and understand the world through their bodies and sensory organs, coming to form their interpretation of the world through their imagination. At the Frankfurter Kunstverein art is understood as a mediator between the most diverse fields: expert knowledge and social concerns, philosophical discourses and the realities of life, aesthetic experiences and the transfer of knowledge of complex themes. The artistic investigation of the themes of our time can sharpen our view of what society is today and what our future can be.
Franziska Nori, Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein

We are proud to present the publication Perception is Reality, an overview of the exhibitions at the Frankfurter Kunstverein from 2015 to 2020. Under the direction of Franziska Nori, there have been 19 exhibitions featuring 77 artists that have explored the transformation of both the individual and society through digital technology, the connection between art and science, as well as the rapidly changing relationship between humans and nature.

What role can art play at the beginning of the third millennium, in the midst of a society in transition? Contemporary art is a field with blurred edges, whose strength derives from the freedom to adopt different perspectives. Like a seismograph, art can detect and visualize the phenomena of social transformation in interdisciplinary forms of thinking.

Curated by Franziska Nori, artists such as Melanie Bonajo, Thomas Feuerstein, Alicja Kwade, Trevor Paglen, Yves Netzhammer, and numerous other young emerging artists, as well as philosophers, computer scientists, biochemists, digital forensic scientists, and many other experts from various disciplines have all re-explored these boundaries at the Frankfurter Kunstverein.

As one of the oldest institutions and citizens’ associations in Frankfurt, the Frankfurter Kunstverein has always stood for contemporary art. Nori has given the Kunstverein a new international visibility and positioned it in relation to major societal discussions. Art is not only experienced intellectually here, but also through sensual perceptibility. The Frankfurter Kunstverein’s transparent 1950s building has frequently been temporarily transformed or rearranged so that installations and juxtapositions could turn the works into a sensory experience. The title of this publication, Perception is Reality, refers to one of Nori’s most successful exhibitions, which dealt explicitly with the question of the basic conditions of perception today: how we construct our perception of reality, and which perceptions our brain uses to construct an idea of reality.

The 19 exhibitions and outdoor sculptures are documented with texts and large-format images and placed in a discursive context over 512 pages. Detailed floor plans can be viewed for each exhibition, and a list of artists and their biographies presents a panorama of the positions that have contributed aesthetically and conceptually to the topics discussed within.

The project was launched by Franziska Nori and her team in spring 2020. This made it possible to avoid short-time work during the closures relating to COVID-19 and guaranteed continued employment for the entire team, including freelance employees.


Title: Perception is Reality—Frankfurter Kunstverein 2015 to 2020
Edited by Franziska Nori
Published in Frankfurt am Main, 2020
Number of pages: 512
Numerous large-format illustrations
Languages: German and English
Hardcover in slipcase
ISBN 978-3-00-066101-3
Price: 42 Euro