Art and Science III
Reiner Maria Matysik - Failed Organisms

Opening: 29.08.2008, 8PM

Artist's talk: 31.08.2008, 5PM
Tour of the exhibition: 28.09.2008, 3PM

29.08.2008 - 28.09.2008

Sat. and Sun. 2 - 6PM;
also open 26 June from 8PM -11PM

Photo by Reiner Maria Matysik
Reiner Maria Matysik, Prototype model from the group inoculi
Reiner Maria Matysik, Prototype model from the group inoculi

The Berlin artist Reiner Maria Matysik (born 1967, Duisburg, Germany) works in manifold ways with concepts for future organisms. In the course of the last years he has created his own new system of post-evolutionary life forms at the borderline between art and biology. In his installations, videos, actions and publications the term "biological sculpture", coined by Matysik himself, plays a vital role.

Within the last years Matysik has developed prototypes for future life forms. These models were systematically collected and classified according to their qualities (size, weight, sex, extremities, needs, way of life, etc.). In his publication WESEN (BEING), which was published by Gutleut in Frankfurt/ Main in 2007, he presents the so-called inoculi (eyeless ones), the leucobionts and several forms of the micro-organisms, all invented by himself. On the basis of microbiology and Carl Linneaus' system of classification, Matysik invents a new form of iconography with powerful aesthetic qualities.

As part of the exhibition series "Art and Science" Matysik will show, in his exhibition Failed Organisms, newly produced prototype models for future organisms. In contrast to their predecessors, which promised new viable qualities as phenotypes of new life, the ones in Failed Organisms are very weak and therefore doomed to failure. In strong contrast to this concept of failure, which is already mirrored by the exhibition title, is the video biofakte (2008): here the hopeful proclamation of future forms of life predicts a brave new world of unknown seminal and viable organisms. Other works by Matysik also question the area of conflict between the utopian hopes and failures of a biotechnological future.

There are essential artistic strategies both in the visual implementation, e.g. the aesthetic quality of the objects, and in its linguistic form, e.g. the specific lexic of the discription of his prototypes. With these strategies Matysik inscribes himself in the space between the scholarly world of biotechnology and one of pseudoscientific fiction.

-Regine Rapp

Essay: The Organisms Are Failing.
Notes on the Visual and Linguistic Strategies of Postevolutionary Scenarios in the Work of Reiner Maria Matysik

The exhibition Failed Organisms has travelled to Moscow, showing at Laboratoria Art & Science Space
(26 November 2009 - 24 January 2010)

Text to the exhibition at Laboratoria Art & Science Space, Moscow, November 2009,

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