Civilization raises hopes – civilization is terrifying. These feelings are palpable in the inimitable works of art by the American artist Doug Aitken. His spectacular film and sound works take visitors on a synaesthetic journey around the world and into themselves – in an irresistible maelstrom of expressive images and rhythmic landscapes. With four expansive film installations and correlating sculptures as well as a site-specific sound installation, the exhibition will present an overview of the internationally renowned artist’s heterogeneous oeuvre throughout the entire exhibition area of the SCHIRN – and beyond. Aitken’s kaleidoscopic universe revolves around life’s existential questions, yet it does not supply any simple answers. Instead, the artist lends expression to an almost naïve fascination with being human and people’s sense of collectivity and cooperation. Consequently, the recent projects by the Los Angeles-based artist have redefined the exhibition format and gained him worldwide attention, for instance through the illumination of the exterior walls of museums, like at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., or through an elaborately staged happening with the participation of various artists on the Station to Station train journey from New York to San Francisco lasting several weeks.