Science and art are not conventional bedfellows. On the most stereotypical, simplified level science is logical and based on fact, whereas art does not have to be. Art––science’s spiritual, hippy younger sister––is the relatable one, the one you’d rather hang out with; but who’s to say that the two don’t mix? German artist Björn Dahlem‘s work proves that the two can get along just fine.
Currently exhibiting at Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Dahlem’s exhibition “Melancholia (Systema Saturnium)” marries the two fields of art and science, projecting scientific themes into his artistic work. Dahlem usually specializes in whole room installations and this show is no different––as I walk in I am confronted by a somewhat surreal arrangement of white geometric shapes protruding from all four walls, reminding me a little of icebergs (and also the work of Icelandic duo Benten Clay). Standing atop one of the shapes is the piece “Schaum” (pictured above).
Back To The Future
Consisting of a kitschy Venus de Milo statuette suspended within a wooden structure, “Schaum” takes on a dream-like quality, light and airy. In contrast to this work is the darker colored “Saturn” standing in one corner, an assemblage of black-painted materials acting as a pedestal for a glowing orb, representing the aforementioned planet. I can’t help but think that the pieces wouldn’t look out of place in a film as a prop for a crazy professor’s laboratory, or in a futuristic sci-fi feature.
Art enthusiasts Rodriguez (L) & Luisa. Photo: Chris Phillips
Although made completely from everyday materials, Dahlem’s creations take on an almost cosmic aesthetic. Bathed in bright neon light, the two plynths present their encased offerings almost like specimens in a science museum beneath the plexiglass, despite their allusions to art history. Can art and science mix? This exhibition proves that yes, it seems they fuse well.
Galerie Guido W. Baudach – Björn Dahlem “Melancholia (Systema Saturnium)” – Until April 19th 2013 – Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm [Price range of works: €9,000 – €25,000]
Article by Marie J Burrows