The Esslinger Kunstverein as a guest at Villa Merkel:
4 December 2021 – 23 January 2022
"Warum denn in die Ferne ..." oder "In 18 Büchern um die Welt"
("Why go far away..." or "Around the World in 18 Books")
More information can be found on the website of the Esslinger Kunstverein.
13 February - 18 May 2022
Freezing Point - Kunst unter Null Grad Celsius
(Art Below Zero Degrees Celsius)
Valentino Biagio Berndt and Marlon Lanziner, Marja Helander, Anastasia Mityukova, Carsten Nicolai, Emma Stibbon, Fridolin Walcher, Jun Yang and others
Upon dropping below the temperature threshold of zero degrees Celsius, water changes from a liquid state to the solid form of ice or snow. It is a matter of nothing other than the natural course of things. Nevertheless frozen water is simultaneously a fascinating phenomenon in all its facets and even has the potential to cast a spell on the observer. For centuries, depictions of ice and snow have had an established place in the visual arts. The group exhibition brings together contemporary positions on the theme.
From scientific aggregate state to landscape of romantic yearning past the forces of nature and expeditions by adventurers all the way to the history of ice cream, there exists a wide spectrum of themes which present themselves for discussion in the works on display. The theme, however, acquires a new and disconcerting impact in view of climate change and the world’s ever more apparent dependency on the disappearing ice at the North and South Poles.
As a prelude to the group exhibition, a one cubic meter block of ice was already buried on November 24, 2020 in a first event entitled "The Ice of the Emperors of China" in Merkelpark.
The 1,000 litre block of ice was packed in a wooden crate, insulated with straw, sunk into the ground and covered with soil. In spring 2021, the ice block will be dug up again as part of a spring festival. The burial was accompanied by video documentation and reports on social media channels.
It is an event initiated by the Austrian-Chinese artist Jun Yang. It is based on the myth that Marco Polo had brought back to Europe the knowledge of how to make ice cream for consumption and how to preserve it until the summer.
Curator: Anka Wenzel
Since February 2019
BELLE & APHRODITE
by Barbara Herold
In the app BELLE & APHRODITE for smartphone or tablet, it is possible to experience a walk-in audio-visual metamorphosis of virtual plants.
The 3D plant BELLE extends across the entire Merkelpark. As an interactive form-cloud, it leads visitors, on the basis of data regarding their location and movement, to a virtual rose at the centre of the park.
APHRODITE was designed for the skylit atrium. In recurrent audio-visual loops, the 3D installation develops into a Phalaenopsis, a familiar type of orchid. APHRODITE can be viewed from all perspectives and, in its overlapping of simulation space and actual space, plays with the experience of abstraction, proportional relationships, proximity and distance.
Barbara Herold (*1977) directs her attention to the shaping of reality through the media. She investigates structures and phenomena which have established themselves through the influence of media technology on society; she develops her own systems on the basis of prevalent design practices such as computation and algorithms. Her works arise in the dynamic field between analogue and digital technology.
Download App BELLE - APHRODITE
Since May 18th, 2014
Lois Weinberger – Mobiler Garten
The ‘Mobile Garden’ of the artist and Documenta participant Lois Weinberger, was set up in front of the winter garden of the Villa Merkel, where it will remain for an extended time. In its wildness, it contrasts with the surrounding Merkelpark, whose well-kept greenery is reminiscent of English landscape gardens.
A field formed out of yellow plastic tubs filled with soil has been exposed to the free forces of nature. Over time, pioneer and ruderal plants have come to occupy the space in a spontaneous colonisation. Nature unfolds in accordance with the dynamism of its own laws in a veritably paradisal, because free manner. A Garden of Eden established itself.
Over the years, this natural process of colonisation began to change into a form of decaThe tubs gradually become bleached and decompose. The plastic particles blend with the soil and the plants; after decades, rainfall can be expected to have washed the underlying area clean again.
The garden is a fundamental form of our encounter with nature. We are familiar with gardens that aim at producing crops as well as those that are set up as beatific sites of contemplation. Affinities with paradise are possessed by the fruit and vegetable garden, the Baroque pleasure garden or, as an oasis amid the city, the public garden – in Esslingen, namely the Maille and the Merkelpark.