Between July 13th and September 24th, the MUSE - Science Museum of Trento organises the exhibition "Anima Mundi - The Carousel of Life" at the Renaissance villa Palazzo delle Albere. Two enchanting carousels by Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen embody the artist's vision of life and its diversity.
With "Anima Mundi - The Carousel of Life," MUSE aims to depict the "Soul of the World" through a unique and playful concept: the carousel. This immersive expo takes visitors through sounds, lights, and dramatic installations, exploring light and darkness, angels and demons, origin and becoming, life and death, and flying and roaming animals. This world between dreams and reality is brought to life not only by Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen but also by four other artists: Sebastian Brajkovic, Marta Klonowska, Marcello Pietrantoni, and Sergio Boldrin. "In the carousels, opposites revolve and chase each other in an eternal spinning kaleidoscope, driven by the Anima Mundi, the world soul," says Stefano Zecchi, President of MUSE. Curator Beatrice Mosca describes it as "an exhibition between art and life."
Carousels At the heart of the expo is the work of Koen Vanmechelen. Following his highly successful exhibition at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence in 2022, the Belgian artist returns to Northern Italy with a remarkable concept. His two carousels, Carousel of Life and Carousel of Biodiversity (La Giostra Della Vita), represent renewal through connection, fusion, and transformation. They transcend borders, cultures, and languages, reminding us of the continuous movement of creation - 'evolution in motion.' "Movement to Life refers to the idea that life is constantly evolving," says Vanmechelen. "It emphasizes the dynamic nature of living meta-organisms and their environment, their interconnectedness, and the continuous process of change and adaptation."
Big Bang The Carousel of Life - La Giostra Della Vita presents the themes and memes Vanmechelen creates to comment on the complex web of life. His carousel showcases the diversity of materials (steel, bronze, glass) and the hybrid nature of beings coming together as a visual big bang. As the carousel rotates, a sense of eternal movement arises, symbolizing biocultural diversity's ongoing evolution, splendor, and power. Various creatures, imaginative hybrids, and existing living beings meet on this carousel, generating new entities where facts, myths, human and animal, and different cultures intertwine. Vanmechelen explains, "It is a carousel of hope in the magical creative forces of life, reminding us that we can achieve extraordinary things when we come together to celebrate our differences. But there is also a fallen angel among them."
Kaleidoscope The Carousel of Biodiversity - La Giostra Della Vita celebrates the uniqueness of every creature on our planet. This carousel showcases taxidermy animals from Vanmechelen's renowned Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, displaying the diverse beauty of life. Vanmechelen says, "As the carousel gracefully turns, visitors are immersed in a kaleidoscope of colors, textures, and patterns - a visual symphony that pays homage to the intriguing fabric of life. These magnificent breeds of Cosmopolitan Chickens in motion bear witness to the astonishing biodiversity surrounding us. But the carousel is more than just a showcase of beauty; it is a call to action, a reminder of our responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world." It is an invitation to collaborate and a movement of communities worldwide. This commitment is vital, as the neon lights indicate: "The Global only exists through the Generosity of the Local." According to the artist, "Crossbreeding is the beginning of the cosmopolitan renaissance we need to survive the Anthropocene."
ANIMA MUNDI - The Carousel of Life Palazzo delle Albere MUSE- Trento Science Museum 13 July — 24 September 2023
In collaboration with Berengo Studio