Exhibition, 2023
Mushrooms are on everyone's lips - and at the same time a metaphor for a different way of shaping our approach to the world. Mushrooms are frugal and cooperative. Their intelligence is not individual, but collective; they communicate not only with each other, but also with the plants that surround them.
The exhibition shows artworks that deal with the world of mushrooms and the broadening of perspectives resulting from the confrontation with them - political and poetic, speculative and sensual.

Mushrooms are much more than aromatic fruiting bodies. The roots of many species of fungi form a network in the soil. This mycelium can extend over several square kilometers and is virtually immortal as a changing organism. Through the mycelium, fungi exchange nutrients with trees and other plants. Their symbiotic relationships are essential to the ecosystem.
Fungal cultures have a collective form of intelligence and can have a variety of sexes. Some mushrooms are suitable for consumption, others can cause illness, and others are used to make medicines or sustainable materials.

An important inspiration for the exhibition, which was created during a year-long seminar at the HFBK Hamburg, was the book "The Mushroom at the End of the World. On Life in the Ruins of Capitalism" by anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing. It not only presents the potentials of mushrooms, but also seeks strategies for a post-capitalist new beginning in light of the crises of the present. Tsing is looking for new perspectives, (super)life forms and paradigms - the matsutake mushroom became her guide into a kind of parallel world. Her research on matsutake occurrences in forests destroyed by humans opened up insights into unconventional collector and trader structures created by precarious living situations. Tsing's analytical-poetic approach is based on "encounters"; a principle translated into an open "mushroom consultation" for the exhibition. The artworks on display are by current and former students of the HFBK Hamburg. They form the fruiting bodies that the seminar has produced as mycelium. This will be complemented by a program of performances and encounters.

The wondrous world of fungi fascinates and promises further groundbreaking solutions and insights. Does the fungus also show us a way out of the crises associated with climate change? The adaptability and co-existential way of life of fungi should be a model for us. After all, the future of fungi is hopeful. Can we perhaps also establish a symbiotic relationship with them and nature?

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

»Pilze - ein künstlerisch-wissenschaftliches Ausstellungsprojekt » ist eine Kooperation der Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK) und dem Künstlerhaus Lauenburg. Dazu fand im WS 2022/23 und SS 2023 an der HFBK ein Seminar unter Leitung von Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries und Marita Landgraf statt.

Kuratorisches Team: Béla Dizar, Eileen Krüger, Nozomi Ngceni
Grafik: Tim Ballaschke, Elisa