The Forces behind the Forms

Geological history, material and processes in contemporary art

Ilana Halperin, The Mineral Body, 2013, Holz mit Kalk überkrustet, © Ilana Halperin, Foto: Neil McLean, National Museums Scotland

The exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Krefeld addressed the widely discussed question as to whether we are already living in the Anthropocene, i.e. an age in which our environment is forever shaped and influenced by the human race. Many of the artistic works implicitly focus on ecological issues regarding the basic conditions of human life and our relationship to the environment. The main themes of the exhibition centred on geological history, material and processes of nature in contemporary art. The participating artists explored the themes of earth, material and form at various levels. For example, Julian Charrière visited rare-earth mining sites in several countries where he collected rock samples, from which he created a speculative geology of the present day. Nina Canell investigated alchemistic practices in her works and exposed her materials to physical forces. And the artist Ilana Halperin created objects by means of geological processes and investigated our relationship to time and our constantly changing environment. The Kunstmuseum Krefeld supplemented the exhibition with an extensive discussion programme comprised of seminars, lectures, and joint projects with schools. These events did not only address topics of art and cultural history, but also the latest findings from the fields of geology and climate research.

Artistic director: Magdalena Holzhey
Artists: Nina Canell (SE), Julian Charrière (CH), Olafur Eliasson (DK), Ilana Halperin (GB), Roger Hiorns (GB), Katie Paterson (GB), Giuseppe Penone (IT), Jens Risch, Hans Schabus (AT), George Steinmann (CH) and others


Kunstmuseen Krefeld
Museen Haus Lange und Haus Esters

Wilhelmshofallee 91-97

47800 Krefeld (external link, opens in a new window)