Guests Soya Arakawa, Claudia Barth, Michael Buthe, Elise Concordia Crola, Christian Friedrich, Katharina Fritsch, Nora Hansen, Hans Hollein, Harkeerat Mangat, Rita McBride, Marleen Müller, Alex Nowak, Elizabeth Peyton, Josefine Reisch, Hedda Schattanik, Agnes Scherer, Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Roman Szczesny, Patrick Vogt, Felix Warnatsch
How do artistic processes arise, what inspires artists? At least in the year without summer 1816, when large parts of Europe suffered from cold and darkness as a result of the eruption of the Indonesian Tambora volcano, there is a concrete answer to this question: The bad weather drove Mary Shelley to stay at Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva to create her horror bestseller Frankenstein; the Gothic Novel The Vampyre by John Polidori was also written during that stay. Based on the “Ghost Summer” of 1816, the exhibition Mary & the Volcano at KIT presents works by 21 artists from the context of Düsseldorf Kunstakademie from the past 200 years to the present. In drawings, pictures, sculptures, sound installations and time-based works such as video and performance, they use a historical event as an opportunity to reflect on the main features of creativity. Conceptually, Mary & the Volcano is considered as a whole, in which individual works merge like constituent elements in the magma flow. The basic structure is defined by the two references villa and volcano, they communicate in the course of the tunnel as the poles of the show. Mary & the Volcano included an extensive accompanying program that takes up the three main themes of the exhibition: meteorology, feminism and horror. There were lectures, an event on feminist theory, live performances and a readers' circle on selected literature. This, as well as the catalog in form of an artist's book, are an integral part of the concept.