PUBLIC TALK: Beyond Humans: Art and the future evolution of the human species
|Beyond Humans: Art and the future evolution of the human species : Public talk with Ingeborg Reichle
In my paper I will present the exhibition "jenseits des menschen, beyond humans" I curated in 2010 for the Berlin Medical History Museum of the Charité, putting new works by the Berlin based artist Reiner Maria Matysik as part of the Interventions series on show, which was initiated in 2009 by the Museum to offer contemporary art a space for experiment and to promote dialogue between the arts and the sciences. "jenseits des menschen" was the result of the productive collaboration of two Berlin science institutions: the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Charité's Medical History Museum. The pathological specimens collection of the renowned physician Rudolf Virchow and the ruin of his lecture hall were the points of departure for this artistic interrogation of medical science's image of man, which the museum's permanent exhibition "On the Trace of Life" charts in the history of medicine from the eighteenth century to the present day. In contrast to the museum's view of man which is historical, the intervention by Reiner Maria Matysik turned toward future evolutionary designs for humans in a human-made biotechnological future. His work became well known particularly through his models of post-evolutionary organisms, which are situated between Matysik's vision of "active" evolution, that is, evolution controlled by humans, and the future forms of living "biological sculptures" created by the artist.
The artist's motivation in creating these prototypes of future organisms stems from his conviction that the rapid advances in modern molecular biology and genetic engineering will have dramatic consequences for the process of biological evolution, as well as for art, that can hardly be assessed at present. The exhibition "jenseits des menschen" brought together three aspects of Reiner Maria Matysik's multi-layered oeuvre in a new synthesis. From his extensive series of post-evolutionary organisms three exhibits were selected for a very distinctive space, the museum's lecture hall ruin; they were suspended from the roof on steel cables and hang above the heads of visitors. In the second area of the exhibition the artist focused on the future of human evolution and for the first time worked with modelling wax. In the third section Matysik saw new ground: with the support of the Deutsches Institut für Zell- und Gewebeersatz and using the techniques of tissue engineering, the artist created for the first time a "living sculpture" from his own cells, which was exhibited in the museum as a specimen.
Ingeborg Reichle, born 1970, studied art history, archaeology, sociology, and philosophy in Freiburg i. Br., London, and Hamburg, working toward her 2004 Ph.D. dissertation on "Kunst aus dem Labor. Zum Verhältnis von Kunst und Wissenschaft im Zeitalter der Technoscience". Between 1998-2005 she held a research position at the Art History Institute, Humboldt University Berlin and the Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik and between 2005-2008 a research position at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences in the interdisciplinary working group "Die Welt als Bild". Since 2008 she has been the scientific coordinator of the interdisciplinary working group "Bildkulturen". For over 10 years she has guest lectured at various international institutions including the School of Visual Arts, New York, the Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, and the Life-Science Lab, DeutschesKrebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg; 2007 guest professor at the Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.Publications (selection): Kunst aus dem Labor. Zum Verhältnis von Kunst und Wissenschaft im Zeitalter der Technoscience (2005), Verwandte Bilder. Die Fragen der Bildwissenschaft (2007, ed. with S.Siegel and A. Spelten), Visuelle Modelle (2008, ed. with S. Siegel and A. Spelten), Maßlose Bilder. Visuelle Ästhetik der Transgression (2009, ed. with S. Siegel), Art in the Age of Technoscience. Genetic Engineering, Robotics, and Artificial Life in Contemporary Art (2009), Atlas der Weltbilder (2011, ed. with Christoph Markschies, Peter Deuflhard, and Jochen Brüning). In 2010 she curated the exhibition "jenseits des menschen - beyond humans" for the Berlin Medical History Museum of the Charité.
- Locations of venues on the Crawley and Nedlands campuses are
available via the Campus Maps website.
- Download this event as:
Mail this event: