Artists: Katharina Arndt, Jim Avignon, Fritz Bornstück, Stefano Bosis, Dimitra Bouritsa, Maxim Brandt, Beth Braun, Joanna Buchowska, Ulrike Buhl, Troels Carlsen, Mimmo Catania, Claudia Chaseling, Jeroen Cremers, Amrita Dhillon, GodsDogs, Grigori Dor, Christina Foitou, Elena Alonso Fernandez, Zohar Fraiman, Abie Franklin, Andrew Gilbert, Giuseppe Gonella, Lennart Grau, Philip Grözinger, Eric Haacht, Tanja Hehmann, René Holm, Stella Kapezanou, Sarah Kretchmer, Miriam Lenk, Katsuhiko Matsubara, Christopher Colm Morrin, Amalia Mourad, Mascha Naumova, Anna Nezhnaya, Justine Otto, Eglė Otto, Allan Paul, Christian Perdix, Paul Pretzer, Cornelia Renz, Noah Ryu, Susanne Schirdewahn, Moritz Schleime, Kerstin Serz, Semra Sevin, Alexander Skorobogatov, Rebecca Stevenson, Mairen Hernandez, Miriam Vlaming Curated by Vanessa Souli
Watch the opening ceremony here. Short video tour of the exhibition here. Interviews with the artists here. Online showroom with all works here.
The Latin term lusus naturae translates roughly as the ‘Freak of Nature’ or ‘Wonder of Nature’. A rare term used by scholars to describe incomprehensible objects and deformed beings in curiosity chambers and nature, the title of the exhibition alludes to the theme of the works presented: deformation, mutation and monstrosity lie in the epicenter of the concept.
Monstrosity and mutation have been topics which have interested humanity since the beginning of time – from the antique to medieval Ages through Renaissance to nowadays. In pre-Christian folklore and mythology, the topic of transformation and deformation has been very central. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, we read dozens of short stories about fairies and gods, heroes and satyrs being transformed to animals and plants, inviting us to empathise, laugh and learn with the heroes. In Frankenstein, one is confronted with the question of ‘who is really the monster?.’ Although one might think of something very ugly and appalling at first, one should not forget the interest that lies behind unknown and unfathomable situations.
Therefore, this exhibition aims to highlight these ‘monsters’, give them a voice to speak out and act as wonders of nature accessible to the human eye through the magic lens of art. Exploring the theme of Frankenstein-ism through the eyes of a variety of established contemporary artists offers a unique opportunity for contemplation on the topic and its various expressions. Some humorous, some beautiful, some gloomy, some completely absurd, the scenes and characters shown on the paintings, sculptures and drawings of the artists presented are to be experienced with a range of emotions: fear, surprise, compassion, desire and disgust.
Nowadays with the advent of social media and beauty filters, people often neglect the fascination that non-conventional creatures have brought to generations before us. This exhibition aims to highlight the beauty of hybrid creatures and challenge their ‘ugliness’ by building a dialogue between old and new tradition.