The Animal Inside of Us

Kunsthalle M3 just got more international. Bringing together 90 artists from 20 different countries with only the simple request of contributing any piece (or two) of artwork – what should one expect get? Their Salon Murid Bosh exhibit has the answer: hardly any white space on the walls, canvases bursting with color, lots of bare skin, and a closer look into the animal kingdom. 
Stepping into the gallery space of Kunsthalle M3, I was over-taken by the very industrial, factory-like setting. Not knowing what to expect with so many stylistically different artists presenting their work, my senses were not disappointed. Upon first entering, one is greeted by a cascade of rain water sounding out from a motorized rainstick that tilts up and down – the kind that is supposed to mimic the sound of a rainforest downpour.
Welcome to the jungle
While one would expect to find pure chaos with such a venture of randomly compiling artwork from different corners of the globe, I was actually surprised to find similar motifs floating throughout the room. Could these be the enduring preoccupations and themes of humanity? Images repeating throughout consisted of naked people (of course), domesticated and undomesticated animals in various poses – some  becoming all too human (as you can see with the so-called Ajatolla Khomeini Kessem picture above), urban cityscapes, and the forest. 
Although the artwork with dogs and cats seemed rather tame and homely (and most definitely fed my addiction for ridiculously cute dogs), a lot of the other animal depictions were somewhat unsettling… from animal sex scenes to a bird cage with scraggly bird carcasses that swoop around with the push of a button. Many of the images of humans were also a bit disconcerting with an apparent preference for skeletons, headless people, and not-so-attractive body parts. Definitely not  a place for glamorous, staged pictures.
Thilo Droste Who’s telling the truth? Thilo Droste Untitled 2012; Kunsthalle M3: Salon Murid Bosh II. Courtesy of Kunsthalle M3. Photo: Julie Anne Miranda-Brobeck 
On another note…
Animalistic themes aside, the mixture of art, whether painting, ceramic, photography, sculpture, or video/sound installation, was very impressive. One could easily spend an afternoon examining the intricacies of the various works and trying to read deeper into them. Some works with underlying political or social commentary were also particularly interesting… not just showing an enlightened Ayatollah as a nicely-dressed pit bull, but also a haunting work called “Fukushima A Year After” which shows the impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster following the massive earthquake in Japan last year. 
Kunsthalle M3, in collaboration with Salon Murid Bosh, takes on an exhibit that could potentially be too chaotic with too many artistic impulses going in different directions. However, they prove that it is indeed possible with their thought-provoking exhibit that is quite entertaining to see! 
  • Kunsthalle M3 Salon Murid Bosh – “Für Hunde in der Zentralgrube” March 10th – April 1st 2012 Sat-Sun: 3pm-6pm