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About water and plants: 20 artistic positions on sustainability – Kunsthalle Rostock | 01.10.-27.11.2022

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In cooperation with the Botanical Garden of the University of Rostock, the Kunsthalle Rostock is realising an interdisciplinary exhibition project in which scientific research and art enter into dialogue.

Fig. above: Luzia Simons Tendency endless (detail), 2019-2022 Tapestry with embroidery Polyester, cotton, wool, acrylic 284 × 280 cm Photo: Studio Luzia Simons © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022 (7.25 MB)

Based on the fact that water is the indispensable prerequisite for the presence of organic life, this project aims to strengthen the adequate use and appreciation of natural resources, especially water, and to shed light on future potential adaptation strategies to climate change.

The project focuses on desiccation-tolerant “resurrection plants” that grow on rocks, especially in the tropics. These plants are able to survive long periods in a desiccated state. Rostock botanists (working group Prof. Dr. Stefan Porembski) are researching drought-resistant plants in Africa, Asia and South America. In the future, it might be possible to transfer the ability to tolerate desiccation to agricultural crops, which would then be less threatened by droughts. Due to anthropogenic climate change, plants with lower water requirements will also play a greater role in urban habitats in the future. The predicted reduced availability of water will leave visible consequences in everyone’s environment, such as water bodies drying up or forest fires.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, imitation of nature played a major role in artistic representations. Contemporary art, on the other hand, is concerned with the reproduction of reality to illustrate themes and as a guide to a more sustainable lifestyle in order to preserve the natural resources of earth, air and water for future generations. For this project, curator Tereza de Arruda has invited 20 international artists who deal with nature, natural elements and their symbiosis with humanity in their oeuvres. They represent different cultures and ethnicities, which in their essence follow a certain spirituality, mythology and technology in dealing with nature. The works to be exhibited are installations, objects, paintings, drawings photographs, NFT’s, video works and site-specific works by Eva & Adele, Francisco de Almeida, Birgit Brenner, Caetano Dias, Jaider Esbell, José Gomes, Yuan Gong, HAP Grieshaber, Rhys Himsworth, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, Han Seok Hyun, Ingar Krauss, Anna McCarthy, Giacomo Orth, Jina Park, Veronika Pfaffinger, Luzia Simons, Vivan Sundaram, Armarinhos Teixeira and Thomas Wrede.

DEEDS NEWS - Birgit Brenner Foto Uwe Walter
Birgit Brenner Prediction, 2021 Cardboard, LED lights, dipping lacquer, glass paint, 2 parts 210 × 290 × 30 cm Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin Photo: Uwe Walter, Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

A dynamic and experimental platform is created through a residency programme, exhibitions and activities in the Kunsthalle Rostock and in the Botanical Garden of the University of Rostock. Together with artists and scientists, an exchange of research, experiences and ambitions is initiated for visitors in the form of guided tours and discussions.

Art in the Botanical Garden of the University of Rostock
The work of artist Armarinhos Teixeira proposes to identify areas in need of protection and conservation studies, linked to emerging biomes and morphology. This is the intention of the sculpture Biological Station, which will be installed in the Botanical Garden of the University of Rostock and will serve as a rescue station for local flora and fauna in the coming years. This “station” leads to the definition of a man-made biological facility for the protection of biodiversity in the wake of nature. The realisation of this was made possible by Iade – Instituto Iadê de Arte e Design and ORION-E Sustainable Energy from São Paulo, Brazil.


Kunsthalle Rostock
Hamburger Straße 40
18069 Rostock


OPENING: Friday, 30. September 2022, from 6 p.m.

Saturday, 1 October until Sunday, 27 November 2022

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