The future scientist, writer and revolutionary Georg Forster was only 17 years old when he joined James Cook’s second circumnavigation as an illustrator. In the spirit of the burgeoning Enlightenment, it was his job to document the flora and fauna of yet unknown regions of the world. His reports and essays quickly became a sensation among his contemporaries in Europe. Forster set standards for his unprejudiced encounter with foreigners and is still regarded today as a pioneer of travel narratives. Inspired by Forster’s legacy, the Kunsthalle Mainz has developed a new exhibition which highlighted art and current discourse on topics like existence and personal and foreign experience in a globalised world. For its exhibition “Forster 1754 – 2015”, the curators had invited the artists Lothar Baumgarten, Camille Henrot and Friedemann von Stockhause, all of whom are active in the international art scene, to explore Georg Forster’s influence. The show presented existing pieces alongside entirely new, site-specific works. The exhibition was co-curated by the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Massachusetts which specialises in the era of discovery and early globalisation. In addition to two film screenings and a theme-based event at the PEM, the project will hold events at other venues, including the Museum der Weltkulturen in Frankfurt am Main and the Weltmuseum in Vienna.
Artistic director: Stefanie Böttcher
Curators: Trevor Smith (US), Thomas D. Trummer, Stefanie Böttcher
Artists: Lothar Baumgarten, Camille Henrot (FR), Friedemann von Stockhausen
Am Zollhafen 3–5