Forests, from the romantic period to the future [group exhibition]

Neudecker, M (2024) Forests, from the romantic period to the future [group exhibition]. Museum Sinclair-Haus, Stiftung Kunst und Natur, Bad Homburg, Germany, 16 March to 18 August 2024.

Item Type: Exhibition
Creators: Neudecker, M
Abstract: To this day, people in Germany view forests as the ‘other side’ of culture and everyday life – as a symbol of nature per se. Yet forests are both culturally occupied spaces, used and shaped by humans, as well as complex and vulnerable ecosystems – of which we perceive only a small fraction when we visit them. The fact that they also trigger positive associations such as beauty, recreation and vitality is partly thanks to the Romantic movement, which discovered the forest as an aesthetic space around 1800. In the following, forests will be artistically explored, made accessible and in some cases reinvented. More than simply depictions, art opens up a realm of possibilities in which the Romantics negotiate different relationships to nature, viewing it from at least three perspectives: first as an independent, creative force (natura naturans); secondly, the products of nature (natura naturata) – these include not only animal and human bodies but also stones and all ways of being-in-the-world; thirdly as the permanent interweaving between these two natures, forming a wide spectrum of interactions. This understanding of nature as a dynamic fabric, of which humans are a part, can lead the way in today’s search for new relationships with nature. The exhibition at Museum Sinclair-Haus is dedicated to the arts as a field of experimentation in which new forms of perception, encounters and connections with the forest can be explored. Seen together, the contemporary and Romantic works raise questions such as: What images and assumptions shape our understanding of forests? To what extent do we consider ourselves as part of them – or the forest as part of us? What roles do woodlands play as elements of our culture and way of life? What can we learn from Romanticism for modern perceptions of our forests? The Romantic movement represented not only a new understanding of nature but also enhanced imagination and sensibility, in conjunction with knowledge and reason. Last but not least, the exhibition at the Museum Sinclair-Haus is a tribute to the beauty and liveliness of forests. A poetic approach based on appreciation, respect and knowledge can help us better understand and feel how inextricably we are linked, how our survival and well-being are bound together.
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Date: 16 March 2024
Event Location: Museum Sinclair-Haus, Stiftung Kunst und Natur, Bad Homburg, Germany
Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2024 13:04
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 13:12
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