Mein Körper, ein Korallenriff? // My Body, a Coral Reef?
28/01-23/04/2023

We humans understand ourselves as unique individuals with a specific character and personal traits. We live in a society in which heightened individuality is regarded as a recipe for success. Yet who is actually this exclusive SELF? Scientific findings show that all living beings are meta-organisms and cannot exist on their own. Are we therefore complex ecosystems, like a coral reef?

Recent research defines us humans as holobionts – composite beings. We have always coexisted with many other micro-organisms in mutual dependency. There are countless species in and on our body. We are so heavily populated by numerous bacteria, viruses and fungi that several kilogrammes of our body weight is determined by other living beings with their own genes. Am I essentially already made up of a WE?

However, if, as symbionts, we are only capable of surviving in mutual dependency with other species, would we therefore not also have to fundamentally reconsider our self-perception and worldview? The artistic works assembled here by Arjan Brentjes, Imayna Caceres, Alicia Frankovich, Dominique Koch, Pei-Ying Lin, Theresa Schubert, Saša Spačal and Emma Wilson inquire into various aspects of cross-species interdependencies and into an alternative co-existence in recognition of symbiotic networks.

Based on the international artistic positions, the exhibition Mein Körper, ein Korallenriff? // My Body, a Coral Reef? at the Rudolf-Scharpf-Galerie of the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum humorously and critically pursues questions related to humans’ currently changing self-perception in the Post-Anthropocene. Scientific concepts such as the Radical Endosymbiotic Theory by the American biologist Lynn Margulis (1938–2011) sustain the exhibition concept, in which contemporary artists aesthetically speculate about productive interdependencies, the transgression of boundaries, and new images of human beings. In the process, scientific, cultural, gustatory and medical aspects are linked with sociological and political issues related to our co-existence in the artistic works.

Artists: Arjan Brentjes, Imayna Caceres, Alicia Frankovich, Dominique Koch, Pei-Ying Lin, Theresa Schubert, Saša Spačal, Emma Wilson

Curator: Julia Katharina Thiemann

 

A catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition containing numerous illustrations of the artistic works as well as in-depth contributions by Lynn Margulis, Andreas Reckwitz, Saša Spačal, Julia Katharina Thiemann and René Zechlin. Events, such as a performance by Emma Wilson, as well as workshops and discussions with experts complement the aesthetic examination.