Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest

11.10.2017, Berlin | The forest is a myth – sung and romanticized by artists in all epochs and regions. It is a place of longing, a living environment, and a resource. For nineteenth-century naturalists, it was also a site of knowledge. But what does the (rain) forest look like today? How have humans changed this ideal habitat acccording to their needs and destroyed the finely calibrated interplay between the species? Vice versa, what insights do we have today about humans serving as an integral part of this fruitful system? From the perspective of natural science, is the separation of nature and culture still tenable in the anthropocene? These questions will be addressed by the exhibition “Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest,” which is curated by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin and will open at the Center for Natural History in Hamburg on November 9, 2017.

Trans-Amazonian-highway under construction

The exhibition is an invitation to reflect on changing images of nature and draws connections between the expeditions of 19th century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and current land use transformation and habitat loss in Southeast Asia and Amazonia—the regions Wallace explored extensively ​150 years ago.

In addition to the works of contemporary art, the exhibition​ will also​ present specimens and objects from the scientific collections of the CeNak​,​ as well as of the University’s Herbarium Hamburgense and the Useful Plant Museum. Through this unique combination and display, Disappearing Legacies questions inherited concepts of the natural world in the context of mass extinction, deforestation, and climate change​.

Nearly all of the presented artworks were created especially for this exhibition; others ​have ​been shown ​previously in renowned museums, galleries, and biennales. The exhibition, which is ​accompanied by a free ​guide book in German and English language, ​will also host an extensive events program compris​ed​ of guided tours, readings, film screenings, and other evening events. At the end of March 2018 there will also be a ​closing ​symposium. The entry is free.

The exhibition at CeNak

Centrum für Naturkunde
Universität Hamburg

Entrance Bundestraße 52
Martin-Luther-King Platz 3 | 20146 Hamburg

Opening and press conference: November 9, 2017, 6 pm
Exhibition dates: 10 November 2017 – 29 March 2018

Artistic directors: Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin
Scientific advisors: Matthias Glaubrecht, Felix Sattler, Frank Steinheimer

For further information please see the project website and the CeNak-website.

Further exhibition stops

Tieranatomisches Theater
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
20 April – 26 August 2018

Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
20 October – 16 Dezember 2018

"Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest" is a project by Anna-Sophie Springer and Dr Etienne Turpin. The exhibition is realized by the Centre for Natural History in cooperation with the Tieranatomisches Theater (TAT) of Humboldt-University Berlin, the Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Halle/Saale, the Schering Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut Singapore. The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.


Picture: Photo of the construction phase of the T ran samazônica-highway, Picture from magazine Re vista Manchete, Brasil, 1971, with thanks to Paulo Tavares.

Project Space

Address: Unter den Linden 32-34 | 10117 Berlin Opening hours during exhibitions:Thursday through Monday, 1 - 7 p.m. | Admission is free Since 2009, the Ernst Schering Foundation has ...