Kader Attia, MIMESIS AS RESISTANCE, 2013, video, 2’18”, colour, sound. Video still, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017. Courtesy of the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York, and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne
Anicka Yi, THE FLAVOR GENOME, 2016, single-channel 3D video installation, 22’, colour, sound. Video still, Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York
Cyprien Gaillard, KOE, 2015, HD video, 4’17”, colour, no sound. Video still, Courtesy of the artist and Sprueth Magers, Berlin/London/Los Angeles
Between 1799 and 1804 a young naturalist, Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), visited the American continent for the first time, making two expeditions. The most adventurous section of his journey was the trip down the Orinoco to the Rio Negro in Venezuela. At the time, his report on this journey laid the foundations for a holistic way of looking at nature – one that was way ahead of its time. Von Humboldt was the first researcher to point out how the forces of nature, both animate and inanimate, work together. In 1853, these first chronicles of the New World were published in a special edition entitled “Jaguars and electric eels”, an excerpt from the "Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctical Regions of the New Continent".
The largely media-based works in the collection of the same name on show at the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION in Berlin describe a reality that no longer distinguishes between naturalness and artificiality but sees things as a whole and as equals. Starting with the idea of the kind of ecology that focuses not only on natural circumstances but also on the economic and socio-political situation, as well as on technological progress, the exhibition investigates an alternative interpretation of anthropology and zoology.
Accordingly, the selection of works evidences the search for our evolutionary roots, looking into questions of indigeneity, of hybrids and synthetic forms of life, the migration of the species, and that of our constantly changing perceptions of reality due to all kinds of different influences.
As the various artists’ contributions to the exhibition illustrate, our modern life science questions both the line between naturalness and artificiality and the ontology of objects of all kinds. The different complexes of subjects move within that intermediate space between nature and art, their various systems offering new approaches to interpretation and methods of classification.
The JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION is a private collection of contemporary international art with a focus on time-based media. Founded in 2007, the private collection has its own exhibition building in Düsseldorf, with a total of 3,000 sq.m. available for public presentations.
At present, the collection boasts over 700 works by around 200 primarily European and US artists. The various substantive aspects covered by the collection are presented and documented in regular temporary exhibitions and publications. The steadily growing collection concentrates conceptually above all on the moving image in art from the 1960s to the present day and straddles various disciplines: video, single and multiple projections of analog and digital film material, multimedia environments as well as computer and Internet- based installations, but also ephemeral art forms, such as performances.
To supplement the main Düsseldorf location, since 2 June 2016 a space is open to the public in Berlin. The exhibition area covers a full 2,500 sq.m. and is to be found in Berlin’s Mitte district at Leipziger Strasse 60 – in the building complex that formerly housed the Czech Cultural Center in East Germany. Most recently, the Konzulát club and the office community Konzulát-Studios was based here.
Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge of Berlin architects has masterminded the conversion of the premises into an exhibition space. By opening the satellite in Berlin, JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION becomes the first private collection in Germany to have two publicly accessible locations at once - in Düsseldorf and Berlin.