October 20 – December 14, 2018
Friday, 19. October 2018, 7 p.m.
Wed to Sat 2–6 p.m.
Mon, Tue, Sun, and public holidays closed
Entry is free
From October 20 to December 14, 2018, the exhibition “Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest” at the Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen of the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg confronts traditional images of nature in the context of species mass extinction, deforestation, and climate change. Drawing connections from Alfred Russel Wallace’s mid-nineteenth century expeditions to Amazonia and the Malay Archipelago to current issues of environmental transformation, the exhibition presents 14 works of contemporary art alongside rare botanical and zoological specimens. After stops in Hamburg and Berlin, the last part of the three-part exhibition cycle will be presented in Halle-Wittenberg.
Some of the artworks were developed through journeys to Brazil and Indonesia; others address the role of specimens and museum collections. Spending time on Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, photographer and filmmaker Armin Linke—together with his colleague Giulia Bruno and exhibition curators Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin—conducted numerous interviews with local residents, plantation workers, small land holders, environmentalists, government officials, and scientists. The result is a cinematic document that reflects the speed with which Indonesia is currently transforming into a palm-oil nation amid giant peat fires. With her 19-channel video installation To See the Forest Standing, Maria Thereza Alves invites us to listen to the 34 Indigenous clan chiefs, whom she accompanied for one month last summer in Brazil while participating in a workshop on Indigenous agroforestry and resource conservation. Meanwhile, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen look inward and examine taxidermy birds-of-paradise with piercing X-ray vision, while the automated multimedia installation Extinction Gong by Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vũ translates the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species into an eerie and percussive rhythm in real-time. A highlight of this iteration of the exhibition is a selection of rare bird specimens from Indonesia collected by Alfred Russel Wallace that were recently discovered in the collection of the bird museum Museum Heineanum in Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt.
One-hundred and sixty years after Wallace deciphered the principle of species evolution during his journeys, Disappearing Legacies asks whether the living legacy of evolution and biodiversity—forests and the infinity of worlds they sustain—will disappear amidst the mass extinction of species current taking place on this planet.
Maria Thereza Alves, Ari Bayuaji, Ursula Biemann, Bik Van der Pol, Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Mark Dion, Radjawali Irendra/Akademi Drone Indonesia, Armin Linke mit Giulia Bruno und Giuseppe Ielasi, Barbara Marcel, Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu, PetaBencana.id, SHIMURAbros, Paulo Tavares/autonoma, Robert Zhao Renhui/The Institute of Critical Zoologists.
Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest is a three-part project by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin. The travelling exhibition is realized by Centrum für Naturkunde at the University of Hamburg, where it was on view in the Fall of 2017. In 2018, adapted iterations are presented from 27 April to 26 August 2018 at the project partner, Tieranatomische Theater at Humboldt University in Berlin, and from 20 October until 14 December 2018 at the Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen of the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Halle/Saale. The exhibition cycle is a cooperation with the Schering Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut Singapore, with additional support through Pro Helvetia and the Graham Foundation. The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
160 years after Alfred R. Wallace deciphered the principle of species evolution, the exhibition confronts the destruction of tropical habitats in the context of deforestation, climate change, and mass extinction.Learn more
The exhibition combines contemporary works of art, site-based field research, archival materials, and natural history collections to consider the history of European colonial science in the tropical rainforests.Learn more
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