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The thing is

The media art exhibition in this year’s European Media Art Festival (EMAF), which is taking place at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück from 20 April to 29 May, occupies itself with the essence of ‘things’, the relationship between objects and people and their bodies, and questions of objectification.

The exhibition titled The thing is presents installations, sculptures, and video works by international media artists. ‘The artworks not only examine what constitutes a thing, but also pose questions regarding the point at which we can draw the line between lifeless things and living beings based on quasi-objects and hybrids’, says the curator Inga Seidler, who is responsible for the EMAF exhibition this year. ‘At the same time, things embody, for instance, interests or needs and allow statements about how we live with others and in our surroundings—as becomes clear when the composition, production conditions, meanings, functions, and design of things are examined.’

The transdisciplinary artist RA Walden contemplates the fragility of the body and the relationship to the things in its surroundings from a queer, disabled perspective. Crip Ecologies consists of dozens of glass vessels and petri dishes. Found in the vessels are various natural materials such as soil, stones, seeds, or fluids in different colours. Some of the labels on the vessels bear the names of people or streets. RA Walden thus poses questions like: What value do objects have when they are more difficult to access? And in what relationship does the fragility of the human body thus stand to the fragility of our ecosystem?

With Valentina Karga's living sculpture, the artist takes a look at the decomposition of things, which is important for an intact life cycle. The table that eats itself is an object with a planned obsolescence; it enriches the life cycle as it satisfies our need to acquire newly designed things.The artwork invites us to an embodied session: We will be feeding ourselves simultaneously with the self-eating table, communing our bodies and its body through feelings and reflections on digestion processes, and we will ask: Which needs are substantial for life and which are not? What is there to learn from and with this friendly self-cannibal?

As part of the festival, Valentina Karga will present her installation work in a live discussion on Saturday, 23 April at 4 pm. Along with the audience, the media artist will address questions regarding needs, consumption, and digestion in connection with meeting the challenge of our time: What do we really need for a frugal life and what not?

When? Where?
20 April - 29 May 2022
Kunsthalle Osnabrück
Hasemauer 1
49074 Osnabrück

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