Piz Linard, 2023
Polychrome 3-D print of Google Earth data, plaster material, color pigment ink
Exhibition View © Adrian Câtu

Piz Linard, 2023
Polychrome 3-D print of Google Earth data, plaster material, color pigment ink
Exhibition View © Adrian Câtu

My Rhino is not a Myth

19.05.2023 – 16.07.2023
Group Exhibition

Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara

The 5th edition of the Art Encounters Biennial My Rhino is not a Myth focuses on the intersection between art, science and fictions, by exploring their potential to reclaim reality as a mesh of complex processes. In between scientific explorations and imaginative speculation, it touches upon stories of the unknown and the drive to change, adapt or subvert.
Unfolding as many narrative threads, the biennial draws inspiration from a remarkable example of artistic and scientific imagination: Albrecht Dürer's renowned work Rhinocerus, created in 1515 without the artist ever seeing the depicted animal. It was a response to a strange encounter, the first rhino traveling to the European continent since antiquity. But Ganda, as its Gujarati name was, reached Pope Leo X only as a taxidermic relic. Dürer’s imaginative woodcut became one of the most influential animal images, finding its way into scientific publications up until the 18th century and continuing to be incorporated into numerous artistic imageries long after.
With the Rhinocerus, the power of the imaginative reflects on both the artistic and scientific realm; on forms of collaborations that haven’t yet been systemized and divided in what modernity will frame as The Two Cultures: sciences and humanities. But Ganda was also a breathing being, one of the living artefacts serving as accessories of power. Its voyage around the world also mapped a geopolitical trajectory in all its haunting history of violence. Therefore, it tells a complex story of entangled places, manners of knowledge-making and a society in a profound process of change.
The title of the biennial ties a connection to the play Rhinocéros, written in 1959 by the Romanian-French author Eugène Ionesco. A response to the rise of authoritarian regimes and complicity, the original story envisions the inhabitants of a small, provincial village gradually turning into rhinoceroses, while constantly denying the undergoing mysterious process.
My Rhino is not a Myth reclaims this power to resist forms of conformity, and instead relies on the imaginative abilities of science and art to create breaches into accepted truths, and address processes unaccounted for. The biennial therefore proposes a crossover of art, science and fictions as new ways to look at things, underlining the vitality of their entanglement in the fabric of life and reality. They create "art-science-fictions" as a fluid exchange between scientific and artistic approaches that respond to changes in our lived realities, which are marked by environmental and social transformations.

Karin Sanders' seemingly technical description of this newly produced work «Piz Linard», bares two poetic hints. The first: It is printed from data from the past and brought from a virtual past into an actual spatial presence. And it presents a sublime landscape modelled from light and shadow. With its 3410 m height Piz Linard is one of the highest peaks of the region and thrones like guardian with its nearly perfect pyramidal form over the Engadin valley, close to famous places like St. Moritz and Davos. The Sublime as opposed to the Beautiful was a romantic shudder that early tourist experienced in the face of mountains as they had the power to compel and destroy them. With the size here reduced to an object rather than a monument, it enters the scale of the well formed and aesthetically pleasing Beautiful. This Romantic Sublime pleasantly terrifying feeling first described in 1757 by Edmund Burke, a contemporary of Rousseau and Kant, formed our understanding of aesthetics today. Piz Linard is also watching over the place where as a late philosophical consequence almost of this notion, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals, The Twilight of the Idols and among many other works also parts of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and The Gay Science in both the sentence «God is Dead», that unleashed a new modernist metaphysic.
While Karin Sander presented 3D body scans and prints since 1997 all around the world, this series of peaks started during the pandemic. During that time Sanders worked with the Hybrid Reality Research Group of her Chair of Art and Architecture on notions of virtual and augmented reality home offices and meta-tourism. While these would transport us to other beautiful and sublime places, the peaks series originating in the metaverse the sublime is potentially brought to one's home - in a highly compacted form.

Curated by Adrian Notz

Represented works

Ideoscapes / Google Earth Scans