Opening: 19 October 2018, 19h00
Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen
The third iteration of the exhibition is approaching fast! Save the date for the opening of Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald [Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest] in the Natural History Collections of Martin Luther University in Halle/Saale, which will be installed throughout the entire building—that is normally not open to the public in this way.
The project presents contemporary artworks and curatorial assemblages that renounce a romantic notion of untouched nature. Fifteen installations, photographs, sculptures, and moving-image works—including eight newly commissioned projects—draw connections between Alfred Russel Wallace’s nineteenth-century expeditions to Amazonia and Southeast Asia and current urgencies of environmental transformation. Although the exhibition follows certain historical traces and archival records, Disappearing Legacies is not a “great man of science” biographical retrospective. However, by appropriating certain formal elements of this exhibition trope, the project instead considers how colonial natural history collections can be mobilized, disassembled, framed, and read in ways that enable a discussion of urgent ecological and systemic questions of injustice today—whether in the Anthropocene, Capitalocene, or Plantationocene. This is why the exhibition also engages the regions and places where the collection materials (animals, plants, and stories) originate, drawing attention to progressive, transcultural, and decolonizing practices. Can—and if so, how can—a colonial archive become a point of departure for a conversation about other ways of knowing, reading, and sensing the heterogeneity of nature as it is voiced by international artists, scientists, and activists? In response to this question, the exhibition celebrates diversity and biodiversity, challenging aesthetic and agricultural monocultures by interrogating the modern colonial legacies that perpetuate epistemicide and ecocide. What kinds of narration can we re-activate or invent? Which human and non-human ways of life are fostered, cultivated, or engendered elsewhere, and how can we support these in de ance of the continued impoverishment of the world?
The participating artists are:
Maria Thereza Alves
Bik Van der Pol
Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies
Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen
Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia
Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi
Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu
Paulo Tavares / autonoma
Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists
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