With Membranes Out Of Order, Kunstquartier Bethanien is dedicating a project entirely to bioart for the first time. The exhibition creates an interdisciplinary field between art and scientific research. At a time when society is confronted with expertise previously reserved for experts due to the pandemic, the positions of Margherita Pevere, Theresa Schubert and Karolina Żyniewicz anchor art as a cognitive stance, performative act or link to nature in a consistent examination of the interface between one’s own body and everyday experience.
Image above : Margherita Pevere, Wombs W.03, Bild aus der Performance für Kamera. Foto: Sanjin Kaštelan
With the disclosure of their own working processes, the directions of the exhibition fan out, like a cross-section through the structure of a membrane. Six exhibition rooms are dedicated to the different approaches of the three artists and make visible in documentary form what would otherwise remain hidden from the public: Drawings, laboratory journals, photographs and other instruments are just as accessible as the finished works and claim to be of equal value and reflexive potential.
Pevere, Schubert and Żyniewicz are responsible for the exhibition both artistically and curatorially. For Membranes Out Of Order, they let their respective positions meet, overlap, merge and derive from each other.
Margherita Pevere’s complex of works moves at the interface between body and environment. With Wombs (2018 – 2021), for example, she addresses hormonal contraception through her intermedial practice of bioart, performance and photography. Starting with reproductive organs, framework conditions between sexuality and gender are explored. The decision to work with bacteria and snails opens up approaches beyond a binary gender order.
In an aesthetic between alchemy and futurism, Theresa Schubert’s works question anthropocentrism and its limits. For the project mEat me (2020), for example, she produced meat from her own cells, which she then ate herself, in order to performatively question our dealings with meat, factory farming, but also our own bodies as a resource.
Karolina Żyniewicz understands art as situated knowledge production. For safe suicide (enduring) she deals with life and death as self-transformation. She grew her own cells and then killed them. Images of the dying cells through fluorescence and confocal microscopy were printed on porcelain plates in the form of traditional Polish funeral images.
Creating access, disclosing processes and communicating content also remain thematically prioritised in a broader context in the exhibition’s mediation: In cooperation with the German Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBSV), low-barrier mediation concepts such as objects that can be experienced haptically, descriptions in Braille and audio descriptions become part of the exhibition.
A supporting programme rounds off the project. A catalogue is being planned for Membranes Out Of Order, which will be presented at a special event in early February.
Margherita Pevere is pursuing a PhD in artistic research and queer studies at Aalto University in Helsinki. Since 2008, her art has been shown internationally in group and solo exhibitions, including Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, Kunsthalle Rostock, Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences in Toronto. She has received numerous awards and funding for her work. She is co-founder of the art group Fronte Vacuo.
Dr. Theresa Schubert received her PhD in media art from the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Her work is shown internationally, including at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Istanbul Biennial, European Media Art Festival and Moscow Museum of Modern Art. She has received several awards for her work, including mEat me was honoured with the Award of Excellence at the Japan Media Arts Festival 2022.
Karolina Żyniewicz is a PhD student in the international PhD programme Nature-Culture at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, University of Warsaw, and previously graduated from the Academy of Arts in Lodz. Her research-based, experimental art is shown internationally solo and in group exhibitions.
Vernissage: Friday, 9. December 07:00 p.m.
Exhibition dates: Friday, 9 December until Sunday, 8 January 2023
Project space in the Kunstquartier Bethanien
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 02:00 p.m. – 08:00 p.m. | Sat + Sun 01:00 p.m. – 07:00 p.m. Finissage with artist talk: 08.01.2023, 15:00 (to be confirmed)
Social programme/talks (to be announced)Projektwebsite: www.membranesoutoforder.de
Guided tours for visually impaired people (EN): Friday + Sunday 15:00 – 18:00
Catalogue, texts and events in English Guided tours in German on request
10997 Berlin – kreuzberg