Conventional narratives of natural history museums establish distance to non-human animals as historical subjects by presenting their bodies as specimens of a species. They are collected, cataloged, presented, and archived. Their presence as objects of science places them in the man-made canon of nature and history. They become things. But what if these "things" could talk to us? Or — like Sam the chimpanzee in T. C. Boyle's novel Talk to Me — demand that we talk to them?
The artists in the exhibition focus on the agency of objects, bodies, and collections — on the "nature" of their relationships. What stories are hidden behind animal individuals or specimens? Where do they come from and who collected them? How are naturalness and artificiality of animality staged? And what narratives can help us understand nonhuman others as individuals?
This exhibition brings together works by alumni, researchers, faculty, and students of the Transmedia Space at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Works by: Lèo Beaudoin, Bidisha Das, Pascal Marcel Dreier, Corinna Duschl, Jazmin Rojas Forero, Thomas Hawranke, Anne Hölck, Anton Linus Jehle, Jiha Jeon, Hyeseon Jeong, Lisa James, Sebastian Jaimes Marin, Katharina Mönkemöller, Kihuun Park, Milena Uribe, Yve Oh, Seongmin Yuk, and others.