From the within

by Lena Hugger and Hagen Keller

“I truly believe that revolution comes from the within”


Challenged by its impossibility, we needed something that needs to be overcome but is yet unreachable

Since the beauty industry has gone through an exponential development in recent years – which is manifested in the instagramization of society, the rise of eating disorders, plastic surgery and body dysmorphia –

we feel committed to not only criticize this phenomenon but to radically revert it.


We deny declaring everybody beautiful but instead destabilize our concept of beauty. This destabilization consists of asking questions about how to realize our own superficiality and if (or how) we want to let go of it.

We want to engage in a dialogue with you. Do not worry if it intimidates or disturbs you.

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We would like to revolutionize beauty, as the revolution itself is always beautiful.

In conversation with Lena and hagen..

During "IN CONVERSATION WITH.." we want to give the artists through a series of questions to introduce themselves and to relate their practice and their work to the topic of the exhibtion. We welcome Lena and Hagen:

Could you introduce yourself?

We are Lena and Hagen. On average, we are 27 years old and socialized by the Dusseldorf Art Academy. Our common work is focused on artistic strategies that interact with people in a painful yet loving way.

How would you describe your practice?

As Hagen is more focused on an idea of art that emerges from “social sculpture” (Joseph Beuys), Lena has a strong interest in questioning and creating images. We work based on the idea that all kinds of human articulations are political and aesthetic. Because of this, art is – in our terms – always collaborative. An artwork grows with the discourse it creates. We wish to create this kind of discourse, crossing the borders of the traditional art world.

Why did you choose to show “from the within” during relational terms?

We were challenged by the digital space and the term “revolution” at the same time. As the digital revolution has spread the superficial and the fetishization of “beautiful” people, we found relational terms to be a good space to speak about this topic.

What has the biggest influence on your works?

Our work is rather focused on asking questions than to give answers. We like to point towards blind spots inside our everyday thinking and acting. In the process, we learn as much as the people that are our recipients. All of what we do is driven by a maniac energy that empowers us in social and aesthetic processes. Our projects are experiments.

What is your relation to the term revolution?

What is your relation to the term revolution? We believe that a revolutionary attitude is (not mattering if it will get to its goal) the most efficient one to create change. This is why we are revolutionary.

What does revolution mean to you?

What does revolution mean to you? For Hagen, revolution is a basic energy that is driven by the desire to stimulate a deep transformational process through an artwork. He takes revolution by its traditional, nowadays maybe naïve wish of rapid and radical change of the present. For Lena, revolution is strongly related to speed. She believes that revolution is a rapid, rather subconscious change than a conscious one.

Would you consider yourself an activist?

We agree to be an activist in terms of the intended intensity of our work. We are convinced that the areas of “activism” and “art” should be closely connected to each other, as they are related to each other. In a time of a hyper-capitalist art market, we need more activist art as much as we need more creativity in activism.


Thank you for your time and the insight, would you like to ask me something?

The questions we want to ask can be found in the exhibition.