Floral Fantasies between Symbolism and Outsider Art

31/03 – 04/08/2019

The significance of plants as an artistic means of expressing emotional states is at the core of the interdisciplinary and inclusive cooperation project Floral Fantasies. Encompassing exhibitions, performances as well as dance and theatre productions, the theme of ‘Floral Fantasies’ in Outsider Art will be addressed and illuminated from different perspectives by the Wilhelm-Hack- Museum (Ludwigshafen), the Prinzhorn Collection (Heidelberg), zeitraumexit (Mannheim), the Galerie Alte Turnhalle (Bad Dürkheim) and the Museum Haus Cajeth (Heidelberg). Outsider Art is defined as works produced outside the boundaries of the art market and art history by persons suffering from mental illness or in conjunction with spiritual practice. Because of their special primal originality, Symbolist and Surrealist artists had a strong attraction to such works during the first decades of the 20th century. The Wilhelm-Hack-Museum has occupied itself with the theme’s historical roots and now presents an extensive exhibition juxtaposing Outsider Art with Symbolist and Surrealist works by such artists as Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, William Degouve de Nuncques, Max Ernst, Barbara Honywood, Paul Klee, Hilma af Klint, František Kupka, Séraphine Louis and Odilon Redon. The significance of Symbolism and Surrealism as the prerequisite for the discovery of mediumistic art and the Artistry of the Mentally Ill (Hans Prinzhorn, 1922) will be emphasised. As such, the show also questions the firm boundary between established art production and Outsider Art, underscoring in the process the fluent passage between the two under very different preconditions. The exhibition in the Prinzhorn Collection, the Museum Haus Cajeth and the Galerie Alte Turnhalle take the theme to the present day. zeitraumexit expands the question to encompass inclusive performances and theatre projects. Performative interventions as well as participative und inclusive installations form the connecting links for the entire project.