Kunstverein Freiburg presents Immortalism, a group exhibition with works from: Ivana Bašić, Harm van den Dorpel, Cécile B. Evans, Pakui Hardware, Lina Hermsdorf, Kitty Kraus, Oliver Laric, Dominik Sittig, Anton Vidokle, Tchelet Weisstub
15 September – 29 October 2017
In 1922, under the slogan ‘immortalism and interplanetarism’ the Moscow biocosmists called for nothing less than the immediate annulment of human life's temporal and spatial restrictions. Their beliefs followed the traditions of the Russian philosopher Nikolaj Fedorov, who saw, alongside the expansion into outer space, the overcoming of mortality as the central aim of mankind. He believed all of this to be achievable with the aid of science and technology. Under the care of the state, that would eventually become a museum, nature would be re-formed into a manmade artwork. In the early Soviet era theorists, scientists and activists seized upon Fedorov's ideas. The cosmists were united by their belief in a rational transformation of the given, which then finds its completion in the elimination of death and the conquest of outer space.
The development of artificial intelligence and biotechnology today once again fuels projects that deal with the abolition of the temporal restrictions of human life. Enterprises of this kind, which address the conquering of human limitations via technological means, form the core of current transhumanist ideas. It is therefore of no surprise that Calico–the California Life Company, a subsidiary of Alphabet Incorporated (previously Google Inc.)–has set itself the goal of extending human life. However, although the cosmists saw their most urgent demand of overcoming death as a ‘collective task’ for all mankind, many current transhumanist promises are developed under the premise of self-optimization.
The exhibition Immortalism brings together works by different contemporary artists, all of whom present different perspectives relating to visions, technologies, and ideologies of defeating death. The historical background of the exhibition is formed by the utopian program of eliminating human mortality as proposed by Nikolaj Fedorov and early Soviet era Russian cosmism.
Exhibiting artists: Ivana Bašić, Harm van den Dorpel, Cécile B. Evans, Pakui Hardware, Lina Hermsdorf, Kitty Kraus, Oliver Laric, Dominik Sittig, Anton Vidokle, Tchelet Weisstub
More info: Kunstverein Freiburg
Publication date: 15 Sep '17