Since the middle of the twentieth century, artists have been trying to expand the boundaries of visual arts. In search for new forms of expression, they are increasingly seeking dialogue with other disciplines using their methods and means of production.
In this context, the natural sciences in particular have developed into important driving forces for artistic practices. Laboratories, as settings for innovative developments and (sometimes) utopian ideas, have become not only symbols of human quest for progress, but also popular motives and sources of inspiration for artists.
The summer exhibition at Museum Villa Rot gathers sculptures, video works, photos, installations and multimedia projects by 15 international artists who work at the interface between studio and laboratory. Some of them show themselves fascinated by the aesthetics of research institutions with their special materials and tools: Insect collections, molecular structures, petri dishes and test tubes serve as inspiration for installations, sculptures and photo series.
Others have left their studios in order to do their own research and found extraordinary ways of socially committed art production. They produce innovative works in interdisciplinary projects, in collaboration with scientists or through their own scientific experiments. The growth of slime fungi or bacteria, for example, or something like crossing chicken breeds, may serve as a basis for their new works. The results are not only fascinating to look at, but can also provide impulses for scientific research.
However, humans’ striving for progress does not always lead to positive results. Some of the works exhibited at Museum Villa Rot discuss the dark sides of sciences and their potential dangers. Against the background of current genetic research and future possibilities of cloning, it becomes rather evident how difficult the moral and ethical evaluation of scientific goals has become.
Should man actually be allowed to play God? Should scientists be allowed to modify the DNA of living beings? Or must there be limits?
With works by:
Sonja Bäumel / Daniel Bräg / Adam Cmiel / Simone Demandt / Effektschmiede / Thomas Feuerstein / Lea Grebe / Simon Christoph Krenn / Reiner Maria Matysik / Hermann Josef Roth / Krassimir Terziev / Thomas Thwaites / Mario Urlaß / Koen Vanmechelen / Pinar Yoldas
Museum Villa Rot