23rd Triennale Milano International, Performed Installation

Unknown Unknowns, An Introduction to Mysteries

July 15 – December 11 / 2022
La Triennale di Milano
Performance: Opening day July 15 at 11:30 and at 14:00
Viale Alemagna 6,
20121 Milano, Italy
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Entangled Relations—Animated Bodies
July 15 – December 11 2022

The performed and multisensory installation by the artist Sonja Bäumel aims to stimulate the cultural imagination via the potential of microorganisms. It seeks to alter our perception of the boundaries of the human body and explores what the microbial paradigm shift may mean for cross-beings boundaries. Exploring the vital relationships, bonds, and interconnections between our bodies, it invites visitors to wonder, observe, and understand what it might mean to embody the human in a more-than-human world.

Magnified 40,000 times, a larger-than-life sculpture of an amoeba expands in multiple directions, linking piece by piece with the transparent fragments of a human figure riddled with microbial inclusions. The dynamic projection of a real amoeba overlays the installation and is accompanied by sound transmitting the bubbling vitals of the microbial world. The installation will be brought to life by choreographer and performer Doris Uhlich on several occasions.

Entangled Relations-Animated Bodies also extends the traditional practice of anatomical drawings and models, which paradoxically always draw on the dead body. Inspired by the realisation that the living body is fundamentally absent from images of bodies, we use performance - an art form of transience - as an important element in updated, contemporary, dynamic body models. The performative installation thus also holds the potential to view the anatomical model as a fluid ecosystem in which science and imagination enter into a reciprocal dialogue.

By unfolding, shifting, and fragmenting the so-called boundaries of the human bodies, the installation exposes the entanglement and constant exchange with the microbial milieus living on, in, and around it, revealing yet unknown forms of movement, intelligence, and communication.

Organising institution:
MAK - Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna

Lilli Hollein

Marlies Wirth

Artistic concept and realization:
Sonja Bäumel

Funding and Governing Body:
The Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport

Papier-mâché sculptures:
Sonja Bäumel, Vitalie Leșan

Performance Choreography:
Sonja Bäumel, Doris Uhlich

Video projection Amoeba:
Wim van Egmond

Sonja Bäumel, Eva Mahhov

Graphic Design:
Nina Ober

Artistic Partners:
University of Applied Arts, Vienna
Science Visualization Lab and Studio Book and Paper

Scientific Partners:
ISTA – Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Sixt-Group

Exhibition management:
Mario Kojetinsky

Technical coordination:
Philipp Krummel

Winter Artservice

Supported by:
Dynamic Projection Institute, your partner for innovative dynamic projections, Made in Austria
4YOUREYE projektionsdesign & - technik gmbh
Austrian Cultural Forum Milan

Special thanks to:
Maurizio Montalti, Nina Stalzer, Reinhold Reithofer, Peter Freudling, Nikolaus Mahatsek, Jules Sturm, Birgit Nemec, Janina Krepart

→ Linking Bodies