Insects in Contemporary Art
July 7 to October 13, 2019
In cooperation with the Senckenberg Nature Museum Frankfurt

The relationship between humans and insects has always been ambivalent: usefulness and damage, curse and blessing, fascination and phobia come to mind. The pressing issue of the disappearance of insects, however, has changed human perspective on the little creatures: their indisputable importance for the earth’s fragile ecological balance and biodiversity has come into sharper focus. Their increasing absence is becoming more and more noticeable, and this also increases our longing for their return. Now the animals which were driven away for decades by means of insecticides and insect traps are being treated to “insect hotels” in gardens, and beehives abound in unexpected places.

Lili Fischer, Schnakenstudie, 2005
Gregor Törzs, Wing Wing No. 3, 2018
José María Sicilia, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, 2002
Lea Grebe, o. T. (Fliege), 2018
Dominic Harris, Baby Flutter, 2012
Timo Kahlen, Zwiebelmuster, 2006
Akihiro Higuchi, HANA, H0118
Mirko Baselgia, Antupada – The Bee dreams up the Flower, the Flower dreams up to the Bee, 2012

And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.

William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act III, Scene 1

In its exhibition “Beating Wings”, the Museum Sinclair-Haus presents artists who explore this shift in the relationship between humans and insects in their works, finding their own approach to these strange creatures. These almost scientific investigations into natural sciences often focus on the swarming behaviour of the little animals and the individual insect, observed apart from the masses. One question is whether the structures and behaviours of swarms and flocks can also be applied to human social processes. Insect-made materials, such as wax, are used by some of the artists for their works. The exhibition features many different sculptures, reliefs, drawings, photographs, films and installations – and a myriad of discoveries concerning the subject of insects. The exhibition is complemented by scientific artefacts from the Senckenberg Nature Museum in Frankfurt am Main. In the museum’s forecourt, a blooming “insect meadow” will be installed – in keeping with the theme of the exhibition.

Featuring works by Anita Albus, Mirko Baselgia, Bertozzi & Casoni, Lili Fischer, Esther Glück, Lea Grebe, Dominic Harris, Akihiro Higuchi, Timo Kahlen, Claire Morgan, Maximilian Prüfer, Vroni Schwegler, Günther & Loredana Selichar, José María Sicilia, Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau, Gregor Törzs, Rosemarie Trockel.

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