We live in a world in which it seems impossible to think about reality without referring to an "elsewhere". One of the most ambiguous "elsewheres" of the last 200 years was Europe. The era when Europe served as worldwide model (for better or for worse) is coming to an end. But does that make the world a better place? Can we speak about Europe without being Eurocentric? How is it possible to meet as equals in an unequal world?

The In Search of Europe? exhibition is the result of a collaboration between six researchers of the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin and artists, mostly coming from the countries of the researchers' focus. From a wide range of perspectives, the artworks approach the question to what degree Europe still is a standard against which people in other parts of the world measure themselves. Was it ever the role model it likes to see itself as?

With an eye on creativity, political ideologies, traveling, and migration and with a range of research locations extending from West Africa, the Middle East, and Western Europe to Southeast Africa and the Balkans, the participants set out to understand how people remember the past, strive for a better future, or think about alternatives in an entangled world.

The exhibition draws a differentiated image of a world that is not simply divided in two, but that is characterized by mutual entanglements, gazes and relationships. The exhibition’s exhibits, eight artistic commissioned works plus an already existing photo series deliberately give a polyphonic answer to this question. Research material, documentation of the collaboration between the researchers and the artists as well as material of ISOE Pre-events held in 2012 in Alexandria, Paris and Dakar compound with the artworks to form a whole.

The ISOE exhibition is accompanied by the ISOE Publication, which is focusing especially on the art-research collaborations as well as the process oriented approach of ISOE, and also features additional theoretical reflections.