Mary & the volcano. a meteorological phantasmagoria
Opening: 13.05.2016, 7pm
How do artistic processes come about, what inspires artists? At least for 1816, the so-called “Year Without a Summer” when especially Southern Europe suffered under an abnormally severe cold spell resulting from the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, there is a concrete answer to this question: The bad weather drove Mary Shelley, who was staying at Lake Geneva, to write her bestselling horror novel “Frankenstein.” Influenced by this example of fantastic literature, KIT presents a selection of artworks from the environment of the Academy over the past 200 years.
Setting out from the „Gespenstersommer“ (Summer of Ghosts) of 1816 the exhibition Mary & the volcano presents works by 21 artists from the sphere of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf at KIT. The works’ dates of origin range from 1816 to the present. Based on a historical event the artists reflect on the main features of creative action by means of drawings, paintings, sculptures, sound installations or contemporary works such as video and performance. Conceptually the exhibition Mary & the volcano considers itself to be a wholeness merged from its individual artworks similar to the constituent elements of a system within a lava flow. The villa and the volcano form both the framework of the exhibition as well as two poles communicating through the tunnel of art.
At the beginning the visitor enters an art work by Rita McBride. It depicts the ground plan of Le Corbusier’s famous modernist icon: Villa Savoye. The ground plan is tailored the particular spatiality of KIT. McBride’s villa serves as a salon for an arrangement of some historical exhibits by Elise Concordia Crola and Johann Wilhelm Schirmer in conjunction with works by Michael Buthe, Elisabeth Peyton as well as the original lava cast model of Hans Hollein’s museum Vulcania. Just outside the villa, Gothic 1986 by Harkeerat Mangat shows a re-make of Ken Russell’s horror film that tells the story of five art students who wander through creative displays at the Kunstakademie, in search of a non-productive experience. Towards the villa’s exit the sound of rain (recorded by Katharina Fritsch in 1987) reverberates, accompanying the visitor all the way down the volcano’s energy field. This area is dominated by Elmar Hermann’s room-high sculpture Frankenstein (Lay All your Love on Me). The sculpture is based on a movie still from James Whale’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s horror classic Frankenstein. The volcano’s radius encompasses further works of young artists such as Soya Arakawa, Claudia Barth or Josefine Reisch & Nora Hansen who react rather processually to the central themes of the exhibition. In a screening room at the end of the tunnel Viktor Al Manouchi by Hedda Schattanik and Roman Szczesny is shown. In addition a film series is realized by Kania & Appelbe on selected dates.
Mary & the volcano includes a comprehensive supporting program that picks up the three key aspect of the exhibition: meteorology, literature and horror. Talks will be held, an event on feminist theory as well as live performances and a reading circle on exhibition related literature will take place.
Both the supporting events as well as catalogue in form of an artist book are an integral part of this exhibition’s concept.
With Alternativ Television (Ulrike Rosenbach/Klaus vom Bruch), Soya Arakawa, Claudia Barth, Michael Buthe, Elise Concordia Crola, Christian Friedrich, Katharina Fritsch, Nora Hansen, Elmar Hermann, Hans Hollein, Harkeerat Mangat, Rita McBride, Marleen Müller, Alex Nowak, Elizabeth Peyton, Josefine Reisch, Hedda Schattanik, Agnes Scherer, Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Roman Szczesny, Patrick Vogt, Felix Warnatsch
Concept and realization:
Elmar Hermann in cooperation with Gertrud Peters/Artistic Director, KIT – Kunst im Tunnel