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"Bios - Concepts of Life in Contemporary Sculpture" opens at Georg-Kolbe-Museum
Patricia Piccinini, The Comforter, 2010, Silikon, Fiberglas, Stahl, menschliches Haar, Fuchsfell, Kleidung, 60 x 80 x 80 cm, Olbricht Collection, photo: Graham Baring, Courtesy of the artist and Haunch of Venison.

BERLIN.- The exhibition Bios – Concepts of Life in Contemporary Sculpture brings international artists together in terms of their involvement with the living, in particular concerning the upheavals in modern life sciences by the progressive developments in microbiology and genetic engineering.

As an artistic genre, sculpture is intertwined with concepts of vitality since time immemorial, as expressed in one of its origin myths. Ovid’s story of the sculptor Pygmalion tells the tale of the divine transformation of an ivory statue that he created into a living woman. At the symbolic level, this text refers to the summoning of matter through the sculptural act, marking a peculiar perimeter between the artificial and the living at least since antiquity. In the hands of the sculptor, raw material is transformed to a form that does not claim the place of the living from the outset, but does indeed raise the suspicion of wanting to compete with divine creation. The crossing of this line under the influence of scientific hubris became part of our collective memory, among others, with Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein

The understanding of life and the plasticity of the living has fundamentally changed in the last twenty years, due to the ground-breaking discoveries in genetic engineering and microbiology. In the exhibition, the view is directed at plants and the organic as a field already deformed and scientifically permeated by mankind, which has lost its strangeness and autonomy, but has become all the more puzzling in the process.

Participating artists:
Brandon Ballengée (USA *1974) • Peter Buggenhout (Belgium *1963) • Lee Bul (South Korea *1964) • Mark Dion (USA *1956) • Brad Downey (USA *1980) • Thomas Feuerstein (Austria *1968) • Eli Gur Arie (Israel *1964) • Tue Greenfort (Denmark *1973) • Patricia Piccinini (Australia *1965) • Donato Piccolo (Italy *1976) • Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger (Switzerland *1967, *1964) • Günter Weseler (Germany *1930) • David Zink Yi (Peru *1973)

On occasion of the exhibition a bilingual (German / English) catalogue is published by Wienand Verlag with texts by Björn Brembs, Frank Fehrenbach, Jens Hauser and Marc Wellmann, 120 pages, 24 x 22 cm, Hardcover.

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