Growing Forms

Organic Processes in Contemporary Art

21 november 2021 — 6 march 2022

Large Exhibition Hall

The exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Heidenheim shows photographs, installations and videos that deal with organic processes. Chemical and biological exchange processes are demonstrated using the example of fungi, acids, bacteria and plant pigments.

The growth and decay of nature has always fascinated artists. Art history is full of examples of the meticulousness with which various stages of development of flowers, trees and other plants have been recorded in drawings, engravings, paintings, film and photography. The boundaries between scientific studies and fine art were not always clear.

Even today, artists devote themselves to the multifaceted complex of themes surrounding vegetal processes. Unlike in earlier decades, however, it is no longer just a specific moment within a natural cycle that is captured in a static work. Rather, biological changes themselves become works of art or co-producers. The exhibition brings together 14 different artistic positions in which bacteria, fungi, grasses, mosses or yeasts are used.

In this way, the artists not only question the closed nature of the concept of the work, but also direct our gaze to a changing relationship between humans and nature. Ever new scientific findings on the effects of our actions on nature, our dependence on ecosystems and the impressive abilities of animals and plants are causing man’s claim to power to waver. But the fascination for the beauty of cycles and metabolic processes is also reflected in the multifaceted works.

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