From Iconoclash to H3K Basel

Die Veranstaltung im Livestream

Das Projekt »BEYOND MATTER: Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality« dient der Wiederbelebung vergangener, wegweisender Ausstellungen. Eine davon, »Iconoclash. Jenseits der Bilderkriege in Wissenschaft, Religion und Kunst«, wurde 2002 am ZKM Karlsruhe präsentiert.

Im Rahmen der Gesprächsreihe »BEYOND MATTER? – A Revival of Clashes between Materiality and Representation« erinnert sich Sabine Himmelsbach an die Vorbereitungsphase für die Ausstellung »Iconoclash«. Mit einem Sprung in die Gegenwart erzählt sie von ihrer aktuellen Tätigkeit als Direktorin des H3K (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel), insbesondere von der Reaktion des Instituts auf die jüngsten Lockdowns und von den potenziellen Auswirkungen dieser Maßnahmen.

The exhibition »Iconoclash« aimed to display, in a systematic confrontation, three great clashes about representation – about its necessity, sanctity, and power – in the domains of science, art, and religion. By linking the three domains of theology, art and science all at once, the aim was not to increase the critical mood or to reinforce disbelief and irony. On the contrary, the aim was to transform iconoclasm from being an indisputable resource into a topic to be systematically interrogated.

For the project »BEYOND MATTER«, two institutions have committed to examining the possibilities of revival through experiential methods of digital spatial modelling, using the case studies of »Les Immatériaux« (Centre Pompidou, 1985) and »Iconoclash« (ZKM | Karlsruhe, 2002). »Les Immatériaux« and »Iconoclash« were both landmark shows, and both were »Gedankenausstellungen« – thought experiments manifested as exhibitions. They each displayed scientific and technological as well as artistic practices. What’s more, they each reflected on the exhibition as a medium and an interface.

In preparation for the digital interpretation of the two exhibitions, a series of discussions are taking place throughout 2020, bringing outstanding thinkers, curators, and art historians together to probe the most topical questions around the digital revival of past spatial assemblages. These discussions contribute to the conceptual development of the exhibitions’ digital interpretation, but also serve as groundwork for the unfolding research conducted on »virtual museology.« A worldwide audience can follow the series via live online broadcast, and can access each talk online at or on the websites of the partner institutions.

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