September 17, 2014 - Museum Morsbroich - Hunters & Gatherers in Contemporary Art
September 17, 2014

Hunters & Gatherers in Contemporary Art

Erik Schmidt, Hunting Grounds (still), 2006. Super 16 mm film on DigiBeta, 14:16 minutes. Courtesy carlier | gebauer Berlin. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014.

Hunters & Gatherers in Contemporary Art
21 September 2014–11 January 2015

Opening: Sunday 21 September, noon

Museum Morsbroich
Gustav-Heinemann-Strasse 80
D-51377 Leverkusen
Germany

www.museum-morsbroich.de

With works by David Chancellor, Henry Coombes, Sinje Dillenkofer, Mark Dion, Daniel & Geo Fuchs, Christian Gonzenbach, Roderick Hietbrink, Carsten Höller, Christian Jankowski, William Lamson, Claus Kienle, Isa Melsheimer, Guy Oberson, Simona Pries, Glen Rubsamen, Erik Schmidt, Andreas Slominski, TINKEBELL and Francis Zeischegg

It’s been quite some time since we wandered through the flora and fauna of the old world as hunters and gatherers in search of something edible. But is that particular chapter in the history of mankind really over? Are the hunting instinct and the passion for collecting not still driving human action? How much of the “hunter-gatherer” still slumbers within us, ask contemporary artists like Christian Jankowski, who in his video-performance The Hunt bags his prey in the supermarket, bow and arrow in hand.

Hunting and gathering, two elementary cultural techniques, two ways of engaging with and appropriating nature, are still closely interlinked: When the hunter preserves the slain animals as trophies he becomes a collector; when the collector seeks rare items he becomes a hunter. The artists participating in the exhibition convey unusual and moving, astute and definitely critical images of hunting and gathering from very different perspectives.

Even before entering the museum, in the Schlosspark, the visitor comes upon an opulent looking hunter’s hideout (The Glutton) by American artist Mark Dion. At the same time, he is targeted from the raised position of the deer stand which Francis Zeischegg constructed specially for the exhibition. You can climb up the raised hide (Blind) and look through the shaft-like window openings, which cite the observation bunkers of former GDR border installations.

The grand deer-antler chandelier in the hunting room of Schloss Morsbroich, the historical reference point of this exhibition, has been specially reconstructed for the show. In the ambience of the wood-panelled gentlemen’s room this antler-chandelier visualises the history of the castle, a history in which hunting and art collecting are linked.

The curator of the exhibition is Fritz Emslander.

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