Updated: Apr 5
We often think of art and science as mechanisms that are difficult to combine. I for one had my perceptions shifted after a visit to a rather special exhibition 'Terra incognita - art science fabulation' at the Praxis, Basel. Here's a brief taster.
Conceived and curated by Bienne based artist Andrea Marioni, the exhibition brought together 32 artists from all over Switzerland and internationally with a contributor from India. 'The project's methodology was Inspired by the scientific peer review process used for examining contemporary scientific challenges', states Marioni.
What I observed was an artistic output that was as varied as it was engaging, offering interesting perspectives on the world around us, just as science does.
'The idea was not to select artists that are already engaged with this approach, continues Marioni, 'but to welcome artists for whom it would be a new and intriguing practice.'
Formats covered visual art, radio and tattoo and as part of the brief, each artist was provided with a unique wooden shape to react to.
Amongst the many talented contributors present, I caught up with Till Langschied whose artwork consisted of a mosaic of 100 developed photographs cut up from one large image and then reassembled. Till, from the German-speaking part of Switzerland comments that it was a painstaking process, but the focus on process was all-important, as it provided an opportunity to break away from the usual solo act of an artist and connect with others (especially through radio), facilitating cross-lingual dialogue with colleagues from French-speaking cantons.
I also managed to speak with Ana Vujic another interesting artist participating in the project. She responded to the 'shape' by producing an artwork that reflects the conundrum of the human mind. Since the Middle Ages, Vujic expands, we have been able to open up other parts of the human body to discover what is happening. However, we cannot open up the brain to understand our thinking and feelings. Therein lies the mystery with the brain. You can never see into the thoughts and emotions that are being experienced.'
For further information on the 'Terra incognita project contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In Praxis, Bäumleingasse 9, 4051, Basel.