21.7. – 30.9.21

Art meets Science


If we compa­re the histo­ry of sci­ence with art histo­ry, we’ll find that the­se two are­as of rese­arch into life used to be one. Over time, a fun­da­men­tal sepa­ra­ti­on of the­se two world­views seems to have occur­red. But the con­nec­tion bet­ween sophisti­ca­ted prin­ces’ cabi­nets of curio­si­ties, the pre­cur­sors of today’s muse­ums of natu­ral histo­ry, and artis­tic pre­sence had sin­ce their begin­ning been mutual­ly stimulating—as spaces whe­re artists were part of the pro­cess of explo­ring nature.

Against this back­drop, the Natural History Museum, Leipzig, and D21 Artspace have invi­ted Leipzig artists Erik Weiser and Theresa Zwerschke to enga­ge artis­ti­cal­ly with the museum’s coll­ec­tion. Erik Weiser has stu­di­ed the various fish spe­ci­es and re-crea­ted them using curious mate­ri­als, such as neon-colo­red snea­k­ers. 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 spe­cial cha­rac­te­ristics of the Oenothera (evening prim­ro­se) and responds to its forms and beha­vi­or in artis­tic ways. She is inte­res­ted in the museum’s her­ba­ria. In an artis­tic rese­arch, she traces mate­ria­liza­ti­ons of the bota­ni­cal know­ledge that is stored in the her­ba­ri­um and of its con­nec­tion to a colo­ni­al past. She beg­ins by asking how the coll­ec­tion was com­pi­led and in which con­texts the plants were found and sear­ches for ways of pre­sen­ting and making visu­al the coll­ec­ted know­ledge that would help to expand a sci­en­ti­fic approach to the her­ba­ri­um through new nar­ra­ti­ves. Her instal­la­ti­on will be shown at the Natural History Museum’s pre­sen­ta­ti­on room from 7 to 30 September 2021.