Animism is a multi-faceted exhibition project that addresses the reevaluation of modernity currently taking place along the lines of Bruno Latour’s “We Have Never Been Modern“. The exhibition’s starting point is the artistic-aesthetic process of animation, best known from cartoons and animation films, and examines its relationship with the categorial definitions and limits of the modern world-view.
The attraction of animation, namely, is that it transcends borders: the difference between life and non-life, stasis and movement, the human and the animal, reality and imagination are systematically destabilized by animation.
The Exhibition places these phenomena in the context of the term ‘animism’, which stems from 19th-century ethnology. Animism is generally understood to be a religious practice, which, in contrast to the objectivizing standpoint of modern rationality views objects and nature as living things, which possess different forms of subjectivity. The project asks questions about the borders between objects and subjects, between nature and culture, between the psyche and the material world. The term ‘animism’ becomes that starting point of an inquiry into these borders – not least because they have become more fluid through the global and technological developments of recent years and are therefore being reevaluated. The exhibition, with works by about 30 international artists, creates an Ethnological Museum of Modernity in Haus der Kulturen der Welt.