Official Austrian Contribution to the 23rd Triennale di Milano 2022 “UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS. An Introduction to Mysteries”
Fri, 15.7.2022—Sun, 11.12.2022
A project by Sonja Bäumel, commissioned by the MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
The performed and multisensory installation by the artist Sonja Bäumel aims to stimulate the cultural imagination via the potential of microorganisms. It seeks to alter our perception of the boundaries of the human body and explores what the microbial paradigm shift may mean for cross-beings boundaries. Exploring the vital relationships, bonds, and interconnections between our bodies and the microbes that cohabit them, it invites visitors to wonder, observe, and understand what it might mean to embody the human in a more-than-human world.
Magnified 40,000 times, a larger-than-life sculpture of an amoeba expands in multiple directions, linking piece by piece with the transparent fragments of a human figure riddled with microbial inclusions. The dynamic projection of a real amoeba overlays the installation and is accompanied by sound transmitting the bubbling vitals of the microbial world. The installation will be brought to life by choreographer and performer Doris Uhlich on several occasions.
By unfolding, shifting, and fragmenting the so-called boundaries of the human bodies, the installation exposes the entanglement and constant exchange with the microbial milieus living on, in, and around it, revealing yet unknown forms of movement, intelligence, and communication.