With works by Sophie Marie Csenar, Heribert Friedl, Christina Gruber, Leon Höllhumer, Anastasia Jermolaewa, Georg Oberlechner, Michèle Pagel, Lukas Posch, Tomash Schoiswohl, Saskia Te Nicklin
Curated by Julia Grillmayr and Eva Seiler
It is messy and exuberant. It is disgusting and unsettling. It waters down boundaries: Is it alive or dead, active or passive, technical or organic, subject or object? Sludge – and its special role as sewage sludge – is the central figure in this exhibition. The artistic works, performances, and discussions conglomerate around the motif of the sewage plant. This artificial biotope is both a cultural achievement and a non-human microcosm. As it accommodates millions of micro-organisms, which eliminate human waste to a certain degree, it clearly exemplifies the hybridity between humans, technology, and nature. The exhibition counterposes enlightened, humanist scientific practices of dissection and categorisation and contemporary notions of hygiene and cleanliness with tumult, speculation, and disorder.
Sewage sludge becomes our accomplice in an attempt to conceive collaborations with non-human life forms, or a “nonarrogant collaboration with all those in the muddle”, as philosopher Donna Haraway puts it.