Mama, was ist eigentlich Natur?
Collection Satellite #2: Bik Van der Pol: Mama, what is nature really? Mama, was ist eigentlich Natur?
in Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Kaiser Wilhelm Museum
from 16. November 2018 – 5. May 2019
Bik Van der Pol are the second artists that have been invited to work with the collection of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld and the history of the institution.
Over 40 years ago, the artists and architects collective Haus-Rucker-Co transformed Haus Lange into an artificial climate zone with its exhibition COVER, thus already calling attention to the growing problem of environmental pollution and its consequences for humankind. The impact of climate change is currently more obvious than ever and we have still not yet found a solution to the environmental pollution we have caused. Inspired by this circumstance as well as by works in the collection of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld and exhibition reviews from the museum’s archive, the Dutch artists Bik Van der Pol have conceived the exhibition Mama, was ist eigentlich Natur? / Mom, what is nature really?
The museum collection serves as the source for a parcours that opens up a wide variety of connections between art, nature and the history of mankind. Bik Van der Pol have assembled works and archive material from over 150 years and offer the visitor unusual perspectives on the collection of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld. Themes that shaped the 20th century like industrialisation and globalisation are reflected in the exhibited works. Recurrent motifs are nature and landscape. How do artists interpret landscapes? To what extent does humankind intervene into nature? What is landscape and how does it differ from nature? Bik Van der Pol’s video One to One serves as the starting point for the answer to this question. It shows two case studies in which landscapes were produced based on artistic models.
The exhibition title was taken by Bik Van der Pol from Georg Jappe’s review of the Haus-Rucker-Co COVER exhibition. The artists took up further quotations from reviews that illustrate terrifyingly current voices on the subject of environmental pollution in a sound and wall piece that accompanies the visitor through the exhibition. The artists have realized the wall piece in collaboration with the typographer Thomas Artur Spallek that consists of a symbolic typeface, namely the Saint Helena typeface, which was named after the Saint Helena olive tree that has been extinct since 2003. As such, an extinct life form is given voice and shape.
Curator: Constanze Zawadzky