II: πρωτεο / proteo - Joanna Hoffmann
23 January, 2015, 7PM (press preview with the artist 6PM)
Exhibition runs: 24 January - 29 March, 2015
hours: Fri-Sun, 2-6PM and by appointment. Also open on Thursday
29 January from 2-6PM
of the [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies Library:
January, 2015, 7PM
Curators Talk: 1 March, 2015, 3PM
Finissage: 29 March, 2015, 3PM
non-commercial project space Art Laboratory Berlin is currently
showing of [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies, a series
of exhibitions accompanied by a programme of talks with artists,
scientists and scholars. The series moves from vast to minute: from
the biosphere and landscape - systems, structures, creation and
devastation in [macro]biologies I: the biosphere to the level
of non-human, multi-cellular 'being' in [macro]biologies II:
organisms and also explores micro-organisms in the exhibition
[micro]biologies I: the bacterial sublime.
[micro]biologies II: πρωτεο
/ proteo featuring artworks by Joanna
Hoffmann is the fourth and final exhibition of the [macro]biologies
& [micro]biologies series at Art Laboratory Berlin.
The exhibition explores the minute biomolecules that form a basis
for the phenomena of life.
Joanna Hoffmann, a renowned Polish artist based in Berlin, has thrice
been awarded the artist stipend of the Polish Minister of Culture
and in 2007 won the 1st prize in the Polish competition organized
by Europlanet and Polish Academy of Sciences. She has been Professor
(Dr.hab) of the University of Arts in Poznan since 2009, as well
as head of the Studio for Transdisciplinary Projects and Research:
Art, Science & Technology, and is Chair of Art & Science
Node in Berlin.
Hoffmann's transdisciplinary works combine art, microbiology, physics
and technology. Her use of multimedia installations, 3d stereoscopy,
experimental video animation and other media explore the visualization
of sub-atomic and molecular as well as cosmic space. Her work relates
to advanced scientific research on the phenomenon of life and to
the interplay between scientific and cultural, sensual and illusive,
digital and biological, natural and synthetic.
exhibition space at Art Laboratory Berlin is transformed into a
multimedia installation: on a plinth across from the entrance is
the work πρωτεο
/ proteo, a Peppers ghost,
or forerunner of holography, projected onto a pyramid. The works
title refers to the Greek root of the word protein (Gr. πρωτεῖος
the first, in the lead) as well as to the philosophical tradition
of searching for arche the essence of the physical
world (Anaximander) and the principle of knowledge (Aristotle).
/ proteo is an animation portraying a cloud
of particles creating a mini-universe folded in the form of Calabi-Yau
space, in which, according to superstring theory, successive dimensions
of our world are curled up at the subatomic level. Giving
birth to a convoluted protein molecule and its dynamic molecular
'dance of life', it brings to mind a question about the relations
between the energy, matter and form.
3D projection and installation Molecule was created
especially for this exhibition. It is based on scientific data of
molecular structures and transcribed by the artist into a computer
animation. The work, in tandem with Andre Bartetzkis
soundscape, relates specifically to the viewers body. As Joanna
Hoffmann describes: According to superstring theory our universe
contains extra dimensions compacted to the subatomic level and hidden
from our limited perception. If so, our own bodies carry dimensions
inaccessible to our perception: we are spaces comprising manifold
universes. But the evolution of our universe could follow the opposite
direction. According to other theories, the multidimensional world
collapses into a four dimensional one and even this one can be,
like a hologram, a perceptual illusion.
Another 3D work is Anxiety of the 2nd Dimension from
2012. The globular molecule of a protein, a linear narrative of
amino acids with shapes of alpha helixes, presents itself as a philosophical
study on space and existence. We may wonder,
says Hoffmann, whether our own trajectories of life wriggle
on a rumply two-dimensional surface like on a crumpled sheet of
paper, whose crinkles assure us of the variety of experiences and
provide us with multidimensional illusions.
Hoffmanns exhibition is intended as a laboratory of imagination.
The works bring together a few threads of artistic research being
developed within the frame of her long-term project Hidden
Topologies of Being inspired by the atomic structure of
protein molecules, the "basic bricks of life". The works
are based on scientific data describing protein structures. Joanna
Hoffmann states: Proteins are associated mostly with cellular
robots. For me however, as an assembly of proteins (using
David Deamers term), a protein molecule became a key to explore
relations between micro and macro scales of my existence.
The video works incorporate excerpts of poems by Rabindranath Tagore
and by the artist herself.
these works Joanna Hoffmann seeks to visualise the implications
of theoretical physics. As the artist notes: If the scientific
hypothesis about the multi-dimensional nature of the world is true,
then these hidden spaces are everywhere, in each point
of the space outside as well as inside us. What does it mean for
us to live in a multidimensional universe, or even multiverse? What
kind of tools do we have to apprehend the invisible? [...] One day,
maybe, our brain will be able to perceive how we exist in the multidimensional
universe. For the time being, we have only our imagination in command
and an enormous diversity of protein globules, each of them suggesting,
in another scale, a blister of some world.
mining technologies as diverse as computer modelling and animation,
Pepper's ghost and 3D video, Hoffmann's work presents the viewer
with a set of structures for scientific, philosophical, and aesthetic
wonder and analysis. Merging interpretations of scientific data,
image, sound and poetry,
/ proteo poses questions about the challenges
and boundaries of our cognition, creating an emotional bridge between
our daily experiences and the abstractness of contemporary science.
this exhibition Joanna Hoffmann has worked in collaboration with
sound artist and composer Andre Bartetzki. He has composed
a multiple soundscape, mirroring aspects of Hoffmanns video
works: abstract forms and real environmental sounds, surface textures,
subsonic noise and extreme treble.
-curated by Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz
published 28 Januayr 2015 , Tanz der Moleküle,
by Dr. Barbara Borek
Berlin, January 2015, Ausstellungsankündigung [micro]biologies
February 2015, Opening: Johanna Hoffman: [micro]biologies II:
proteo, by Fridey Mickel
of the 2015 Vorspiel programme of the transmediale and CTM
2015 programme is made possible in part by a generous gift from
(c) Tim Deussen/ fotoscout.de