Space for Kids
The Art-Nature Laboratory or The Mushrooming Cabinet of Wonders
14 Jun - 09 Oct 2022
Curators: kunsthalle wien’s art education team – Wolfgang Brunner • Michaela Schmidlechner • Michael Simku • Martin Walkner
Exhibition Venue: kunsthalle wien Karlsplatz
How do you make shoes out of mushrooms? Can stones, plastic orchids, or even marten poop become works of art? Is a city a living organism? And are skyscrapers made of glass and concrete also part of nature? Why do we collect certain things and others not, and what stories will these things tell about us?
The interactive exhibition Space for Kids. The Art-Nature Laboratory or the Mushrooming Cabinet of Wonders revolves around the changes in our environment. Our inspiration comes from artists who explore climate change, natural ecosystems, and the city as a habitat for animals, plants, and people, showing us how we can use artistic strategies to better understand our planet.
For the video Divine Memory, artist Monira Al Qadiri turned memories of the nature films from her own childhood into a music video by mixing found sound clips and film recordings with the soundtrack of the video game Final Fantasy VII. Alice Bucknell’s video Swamp City envisions a future that takes us on a journey to a luxury resort, located deep in a swampy area where perhaps hardly anyone dares to go these days. Šimon Chovan, on the other hand, created enigmatic, cocoon-like objects, which are difficult to classify – are we really dealing with nature here? And what might emerge from these orange, earthy shapes? An artistic approach to research led to the group of sculptures by Marcus Coates: like an archaeo-zoologist, he conjures memories of extinct animals in his artwork. Regula Dettwiler also follows an investigative method in her exploration of organic forms, botanical classification systems, and the notions of culture and nature – for example, in her watercolor series Natural History of the Artificial World.
The artist Birke Gorm prefers randomly found, raw, and not particularly precious materials like burlap, terracotta, wood, or metal for her sculptures and installations. As if for a natural science showcase, artist Christian Hutzinger used his photo collection and old garden and mushroom books to fabricate new, unknown creatures and marked the day of the very “find” with a stamp.
Along with the violent colonization of complete parts of the planet, plants and animals were given new names, even though they already had one for a long time. The artist Uriel Orlow follows these traces in South Africa where he collects the original names of plants and brings them back to life as a sound installation. In her sculptures, Michèle Pagel often imitates the appearance and character of nature, but she does so with artificial materials to provoke associations with our lifestyles, and with political issues as well. Kristel Peters has been experimenting with mushrooms as a material for shoe design, which led to her project Growing Shoes – shoes that simply grow like mushrooms would definitely reduce our ecological footprint considerably.
Everyday objects from bygone times tell us stories about who we are and how we evolved. Gala Porras-Kim scours museum collections for such treasures and combines them into her large colorful paintings, which unsettle the supposed order of these things. And Lois Weinberger, who has played a major role in the debate on the relationship between art and nature in the last decades, is represented in this exhibition with the works Cherry Orchard (Marten) and Invasion.
From June 14 to October 9, 2022, kunsthalle wien Karlsplatz will again turn into an artistic research laboratory where visitors of all ages will work on an exhibition together with artists and art educators. Various artistic methods and practices can be tried out in different workshops, playfully uncovering new ways of looking at our environment. The results of these workshops, along with contributions that students from the Institute for Education in the Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna developed together with pupils from the Sir-KarlPopper-Mittelschule, will be presented in the exhibition. In order for the exhibition to become a mushrooming cabinet of wonders and continue to grow, all kids and adults are warmly invited to enrich it with their own ideas.
Through the Cabinet of Wonders Labyrinth
In the context of WIENXTRA’s Birthday Party
Sat 2/7, 11 am–2 pm
For kids from 6 to 12
No registration required
Inspired by the artists’ ideas, design your own personal logbook, which you can use to set off on new expeditions right away!
On Plant Pictures and Sun Photos
Three-part artist’s workshop in the context of KinderuniKunst
Tue 5/7–Thu 7/7, 10 am–12 pm
For kids from 8 to 12
Can the sun take photographs? How can nature help us to make images? Together with artist Michèle Pagel, we will conduct research in the Art-Nature Laboratory and experiment with cyanotype, a photographic technique that works completely without cameras.
A Box Full of Wonders
Workshops in the framework of WIENXTRA Sommerferienspiel
Tue 12/7–Thu 21/7: Tue–Thu, 10 am–12 pm & 2–4 pm Sat 23/7, Tue 26/7, Wed 27/7, Thu 28/7, 10 am–12 pm
For kids from 6 to 12
Let’s discover the exhibition together! Design your own collection and build a box full of wondrous things. Feel free to bring your own little specimens to the workshop.
I Like It Loud!
Kunsthalle Wien Disco for Kids
Sat 3/9, 5–9 pm
No registration required
A disco ball, two DJs, and lots of good music to dance, groove, and hang out to! Come and celebrate the last day of summer vacation. Only kids 6 and older are allowed into the disco – because to adults, the bouncer is gonna say, “Sorry, no way!”