The Oceans

Dreams and Realities

16 February – 21 May 2011

Das Meer - Ausstellungsansicht

Ausstellungsansicht, Foto: ERES Stiftung / Christoph Knoch


The oceans – vast and seemingly endless. A domain of desires as well as horrors. From meditative serenity to devastating tsunamis to an abstract plane of the color blue, the oceans offer visual artists a sheer inexhaustible surface on which to project existential concerns. Underwater biodiversity and visions of swaying palms and sandy beaches can be just as much a part of the artistic process.

The reality, however, is far from dream-like. The oceans have become increasingly endangered by human interference. Acidification, rising water temperatures, overfishing and pollution are major stress factors that threaten marine ecosystems. Recent studies on the linkage between oceans and climate change show that in order to shape the future it is imperative to understand the seas.

The ERES Foundation, a platform to encourage dialogue between the arts and sciences, is hosting a series of events on both of these aspects: the oceans as the inspiration for works of art and as an area of scientific endeavors.

At the heart of all this is an exhibition of works by contemporary artists whose work addresses the seas and the myriad changes they are facing. The ERES Foundation is very pleased that internationally acclaimed filmmaker, photographer and installation artist Agnès Varda is coming to Munich to present her work in person. She will be at the opening on February 15th and on February 16th she will be taking part in a panel discussion chaired by Chris Dercon, the new director of the Tate Modern in London.

The exhibition combines this presentation of contemporary art with a scenographic contribution, the “Marine Data Lab” and a “Wunderkammer” (Chamber of Wonders). In addition to the many installations, video clips, photographs, drawings and prints, the Marine Data Lab, created by exhibition designer Juliette Israel, is a space in which visitors are supplied with scientific facts about the oceans as part of a sensorial experience.

The “Wunderkammer” of the Seven Seas is a cabinet of curiosities filled with exotic treasures from the 16th through the 19th centuries, brought together by Georg Laue, whose gallery, Kunstkammer, is regarded as a unique institution in Munich’s cultural scene. The pieces come from an epoch in which the arts and science were commensurate parts of an integrated worldview. The Kunstkammer, which first appeared in the 16th century, reflected both a sense of awe for what was exotic and beautiful in art and nature as well as a new systematic order as one of the foundations of modern science.

Cabinet of Curiosities: Georg Laue, Kunstkammer Georg Laue, München

Scenographical Installation: Juliette Israël


Agnès Varda, Martin Assig, Matias Becker, Mike Bouchet, Famed, Wolfgang Kaiser, Leopold Kessler, Christoph Knoch

Mike Bouchet - Spazio Disponibile - Detail

Mike Bouchet, Spazio Disponibile (Detail), © Mike Bouchet

Agnès Varda - Cabane

Agnès Varda vor ihrer Installation Cabane, © Agnès Varda



Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue, EUR 2,00
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