A World in the City

Zoological and Botanic Gardens

05 May - 02 Jul 2017

Shelagh Keeley: Jardim Do Ultramar, Lisbon, 2016, videostill; © Shelagh Keeley
Traveling and exploring the world has always enabled us to meet different peoples, to encounter different cultures and spaces, and to collect artefacts and take them into other contexts. These collections have been used to entertain and to educate, whether in private and feudal collections, the great exhibitions, or today’s zoological and botanic gardens. They shape the ways in which we see the world. By collecting, documenting and reproducing we hope to understand the world and its manifold forms of life and diverse cultures. Curator Kaiwan Mehta has invited Jitish Kallat, Sonia Mehra Chawla, Sahej Rahal, Shelagh Keeley and author Ruth Padel to address this 'world in the city'. They explore the stories and the practices of entertainment and knowledge production, and of artistic documentation and reproduction in the context of zoological and botanical gardens.

In these places, plants, animals, buildings, objects and people from different geographical, climatic, cultural and social contexts all come together. This 'world in the city' makes it possible to experience and reflect on a 'culture of we', one of ifa's main themes in the year 2017, in all its diversity, with all its limitations, and with all the opportunities it brings. On the occasion of ifa's 100th anniversary, we are referring back to the pioneering 1987 exhibition Exotic Worlds – European Phantasies, which was initiated by ifa, and again looking at the appropriation, transfer, and also the presentation and perception of culture and nature from today's perspective.

Cooperation with the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts includes a research project on the subject and artistic works by students in the faculties of Fine Arts and Intermedia Design; the results will be presented at ifa Gallery Stuttgart from July.

Tags: Jitish Kallat, Kaiwan Mehta, Sahej Rahal