If we com¬≠pa¬≠re the histo¬≠ry of sci¬≠ence with art histo¬≠ry, we‚Äôll find that the¬≠se two are¬≠as of rese¬≠arch into life used to be one. Over time, a fun¬≠da¬≠men¬≠tal sepa¬≠ra¬≠ti¬≠on of the¬≠se two world¬≠views seems to have occur¬≠red. But the con¬≠nec¬≠tion bet¬≠ween sophisti¬≠ca¬≠ted prin¬≠ces‚Äô cabi¬≠nets of curio¬≠si¬≠ties, the pre¬≠cur¬≠sors of today‚Äôs muse¬≠ums of natu¬≠ral histo¬≠ry, and artis¬≠tic pre¬≠sence had sin¬≠ce their begin¬≠ning been mutual¬≠ly stimulating‚ÄĒas spaces whe¬≠re artists were part of the pro¬≠cess of explo¬≠ring nature.
Against this back¬≠drop, the Natural History Museum, Leipzig, and D21 Artspace have invi¬≠ted Leipzig artists Erik Weiser and Theresa Zwerschke to enga¬≠ge artis¬≠ti¬≠cal¬≠ly with the museum‚Äôs collec¬≠tion. Erik Weiser has stu¬≠di¬≠ed the various fish spe¬≠ci¬≠es and re-crea¬≠ted them using curious mate¬≠ri¬≠als, such as neon-colo¬≠red snea¬≠kers. His works will be shown from 21 July to 3 September 2021 on the second floor of the Natural History Museum.
Theresa Zwerschke on the other hand starts from the spe¬≠cial cha¬≠rac¬≠te¬≠ris¬≠tics of the Oenothera (evening prim¬≠ro¬≠se) and responds to its forms and beha¬≠vi¬≠or in artis¬≠tic ways. She is inte¬≠res¬≠ted in the museum‚Äôs her¬≠ba¬≠ria. In an artis¬≠tic rese¬≠arch, she traces mate¬≠ria¬≠liz¬≠a¬≠ti¬≠ons of the bota¬≠ni¬≠cal know¬≠ledge that is stored in the her¬≠ba¬≠ri¬≠um and of its con¬≠nec¬≠tion to a colo¬≠ni¬≠al past. She begins by asking how the collec¬≠tion was com¬≠pi¬≠led and in which con¬≠texts the plants were found and sear¬≠ches for ways of pre¬≠sen¬≠ting and making visu¬≠al the collec¬≠ted know¬≠ledge that would help to expand a sci¬≠en¬≠ti¬≠fic approach to the her¬≠ba¬≠ri¬≠um through new nar¬≠ra¬≠ti¬≠ves. Her instal¬≠la¬≠ti¬≠on will be shown at the Natural History Museum‚Äôs pre¬≠sen¬≠ta¬≠ti¬≠on room from 7 to 30 September 2021.