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A naturalistic world view


Nick Koppenhagen, Ulrike Paul, and Achim Riethmann


Isabella Meiffert


night storage 24, Hamburg


July 2014

The third group exhibition in the series AND WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN? took place in the art association nachtspeicher23 in Hamburg St. Georg and dealt with our belief in the natural sciences. We believe in the natural sciences, in their strategies and their research results. We believe in numbers, statistics, the existence of facts and that they represent our reality. A grid is imposed on the world, divided into 0 and 1, black and white. But how do we question these classifications? Where are their limits? Artists from Hamburg and Berlin who approach the topic in different ways were invited to the exhibition A NATURALISTIC WORLD VIEW.

Nick Koppenhagen uses documentary strategies in his video The Bowerbird. But the use of images and text, some of which cannot possibly correspond to reality, irritates the viewer. What is real, what is fiction? The work also reflects strategies that make events seem particularly credible to us. When and by whom are they used? A second work, Wetterreport, by the young artist studying at the HFBK will be shown. This in-process drawing resembles a diary: a pie chart, meticulously divided into 365 equal areas, is filled day by day with personal observations of the weather, nature and the environment. The strictly scientific framework is contrasted and questioned through the implementation of free artistic methods. The scientific perspective also plays a role in the work of HFBK graduate Ulrike Paul. In the series of drawings My Mother's Jays, four jays are decontextualized hanging upside down. Their slightly deformed bodies and the cotton in their eye sockets suggest they were stuffed purely for research purposes. Man's urge to classify the world in order to make it explicable for himself becomes thematic. Achim Riethmann deals with research itself. In his fine watercolours, he examines the examiners. It remains hidden from the viewer what her work is aimed at. The researchers are combined with fragmented representations of nature and technology, which triggers different associations and questions: Where is scientific research taking us? Where is the increasing mechanization of the world going and where is the belief in progress going?

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