Since the advent of writing, humans have written about nature, written in nature or incorporated nature into their stories. And now the subject of nature appears to be attracting renewed interest in literary circles. The literature and exhibition project “Into the Blue!” posits that modern contemporary literature would hardly be understandable without its reference to the world of nature as a realm for utopian experience. Consequently, it is all the more astonishing that no one has yet written a “literary history of nature”. The project “Into the Blue!” explored the significance of nature for our literary creativity from three angles: as a civilisational narrative, as a trove of stylistic devices and motifs, and as a space of creative self-awareness. In this exhibition at the Literaturhaus Munich, a number of well-known and yet-to-be-discovered artists demonstrated how literature can engender remarkable experiences in nature outside the norm. They re-examined objects found in nature through language. Like an “art cabinet” or “Wunderkammer“, the presentation invited viewers to form new associations and conduct sensory experiments which could rattle their conventional ideas about the relationship between literature and nature. Throughout the exhibition, the global dimension of this topic remained a central focus – in particular, our often questionable treatment of nature. It included an accompanying programme, e.g. a “nature-writing seminar”, organised in cooperation with the British Council, discussion events and excursions. A catalogue has accompanied the exhibition.
Director of the Literaturhaus: Tanja Graf
Project manager: Karolina Kühn
Curator: Heike Gfrereis
Artistic advisor: Judith Schalansky
Artists and writers: Zora del Buono (CH), Michael Fehr (CH), Arno Geiger (AT), Eva Menasse (AT), Martin Mosebach, Marion Poschmann, Teresa Präauer (AT), Josef H. Reichholf, Jan Wagner, Judith Zander and others