September 13, 2020 to January 24, 2021
What is nature? An elementary power which enables life or destroys it? Undeveloped land, cornfields, a seemingly endless reservoir of resources? Spaces left to themselves in cities or on the edge of airports? A lark singing above colourful meadows, or genetically altered organisms? Attempts at finding answers only lead to more questions. Only one thing seems certain: when we talk about nature, we are invariably discussing the relationship between humankind and the world. Thus, the question, “What is nature?” demands first and foremost an exploration of our selves – our notions of beauty, the animate world and usefulness, our values, and the preconditions enabling human and non-human creatures to live a good life.
Ecological crises caused by climate change and the rapidly increasing extinction of plant and animal species clearly show that humankind is part of ecosystems which it influences significantly, but upon which it also depends. How do we conceive our role, which connections do we not yet understand, and which are we ignoring?
Featuring works of art and objects from the natural sciences and cultural history, the exhibition invites visitors to start doubting and question their assumptions about nature. It explores the connections between plants, animals, culture, technology, humankind and microbes – and tries to open a new perspective on the world around us. What this world looks like in the future depends strongly on how humankind decides to exert and limit its own influence. What kind of nature do we want? And what can we do to make sure it exists?
Featuring works by Andrea Bowers, Bruce Conner, Andy Goldsworthy, Sarah Illenberger, Bertram Kober, François-Joseph Lapointe, Klaus Modick, objects & greens, Roman Schramm, Katharina Sieverding, Superflux, Sissel Tolaas and objects, images and films from the fields of natural sciences and cultural history.
Curated by Kathrin Meyer and Ina Fuchs
Exhibition design: Funkelbach. Büro für Architektur und Grafikdesign
The Museum Sinclair-Haus is part of the Foundation Nantesbuch, which offers spaces for interdisciplinary exploration of the arts and nature in Bad Homburg and Nantesbuch (Upper Bavaria). In 2020, the Foundation’s annual theme is “Determination”. Through linguistic and spatial determinations, humankind creates order for itself among the infinite variety of phenomena – one of these definitions or determinations being “nature”. The exhibition “What is Nature?” examines the stories these determinations tell about the relationship between humankind and nature.
What should nature mean in the future? What are our options for action? What can we learn from microbes? What is the value of nature? What does nature mean to us? How can we reconceive of nature?
“Was ist Natur?”
Perspectives from the arts, literature and sciences. December 2020, ca. 220 pages, ca. 25 €
Featuring texts by William Cronon, Berit Glanz, Nils Güttler, Fritz Habekuß, Romy Kießling, Per Espen Stoknes, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Andrea Vetter, Yvonne Volkart, Judith Weiß and others. Excerpts from literature and poetry explore emotional, utopian and dystopian dimensions of the coexistence of human and non-human beings.
Tue–Fri 2–7 pm
Sat, Sun, public Holidays 1 pm–6 pm
Closed Mondays, 24 and 31 December
Please note the following before your visit:
6 €, reduced admission* 4 €
with Culture Pass 1 €
Free admission on Wednesdays
*Reduced admission available for students and those in vocational training up to the age of 27, unemployed persons and persons with severe disabilities.
Free admission for children and teenagers up to the age of 18,
holders of a Frankfurt Pass, Bad Homburg Pass, Museumsufercard or ICOMcard