Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Concepts of life in contemporary sculpture - BIOS at the Georg-Kolbe-Museum

01.08.2012, Berlin | Our understanding of life and its malleability has changed fundamentally in the last twenty years because of groundbreaking discoveries in genetic engineering and microbiology. From August 26, 2012, the Georg Kolbe Museum, in an exhibition entitled “BIOS – Concepts of Life in Contemporary Sculpture,” will present German and international artists who use the classical media of sculpture and installation to reflect on the changed biological concepts.

Mark Dion: Sea Life. © Photo: Matthias Bildstein. Courtesy Georg Kargl Fine Arts.

As an artistic genre, sculpture is closely linked with concepts of life, as expressed, for example, in one of its origin myths – Ovid’s story in the Metamorphoses about the divine transformation of an ivory statue created by Pygmalion into a living woman. In the hands of the sculptor, raw material is transformed into a form that does not claim its place among the living from the outset, but can indeed be suspected of competing with divine creation.

Since synthetic biology has become a buzzword, the examination of life in the fine arts has become ever more relevant. The idea that it might be possible, in the future, to generate artificially created biological systems with hitherto unknown characteristics in labs triggers both fantasies and fears. The artists respond to this development in very different ways, with their artistic exploration ranging from amorphous sculptures to interactions that are critical of society and science. The highly topical exhibition “BIOS” thus lies at the intersection of the fields supported by the Ernst Schering Foundation.

Participating artists are Brandon Ballengée, Peter Buggenhout, Lee Bul, Mark Dion, Brad Downey, Thomas Feuerstein, Eli Gur Arie, Tue Greenfort, Patricia Piccinini, Donato Piccolo, Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger, Günter Weseler, David Zink Yi.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with contributions from, among others, Marc Wellmann, Anna Wenzel-Lent, Frank Fehrenbach, Jens Hauser, and Björn Brembs.


BIOS – Concepts of Life in Contemporary Sculpture

Exhibition Opening: Sunday, August 26, 2012, 11:30 a.m.
Duration: August 26 – November 11, 2012
Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Admission: € 5 (reduced admission: €3)


Georg Kolbe Museum
Sensburger Allee 25
14055 Berlin

For more information, please contact the Ernst Schering Foundation at +49-(0)30-20 62 29 60 or visit the website of the Georg Kolbe Museum at


Mark Dion: Sea Life. © Photo: Matthias Bildstein. Courtesy Georg Kargl Fine Arts.


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