For more than 30 years, Tilly has designed impressive floats for one of Germany’s biggest carnival parades: the Shrove Monday parade (“Rosenmontagszug”) in Düsseldorf, a city in the Rhineland that is considered a major stronghold of the German carnival tradition. Tilly’s floats have gained prominence due to his unique style and daring sense of humor. By taking on current issues and transforming them into striking images and provocative scenes, his artwork challenges established social norms and taboos and has led to frequent controversies about the limits of humor. As a native and lifelong resident of Düsseldorf, Tilly embodies the city’s cherished tradition of “Narrenfreiheit” – the freedom to criticize the political status quo and speak out against the powers that be. His biting political satire spares no one: over the past three decades, he has poked fun at politicians, religious leaders, terrorists, and even the pope.
In this exciting, informative exhibit, DANK Haus will present an overview of Tilly’s work by showing large-scale photographs of his most famous floats. Each photograph will be paired with additional material illustrating its context and the way it was received.