Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger (CH) Animals

Installation, 2018

A modified fitness machine invites visitors to use their muscles. This energy is transformed by the machine into various actions: two deepfreezes open up and release the loud sounds of different animals, pigs, sheep, cows, chicken – meat that is normally stored in a deep freezer; white wings start to swing behind the back of the active visitor; an archaic creature encounters the performer, and delicate vegetation with a stuffed animal on top hanging in the air starts to move gently. Why do we invent so many machines to make our lives easier, to have less physical labor and then again invent machines to make us move and sweat? Fitness machines are usually in a sterile, aesthetically poor fitness studio and the energy pumped into these machines is not going anywhere – it is lost. The Installation Animals plays with this energy and the protein consumption of the bodybuilder. We all want to be angels but are angels something else than animals?

Technical support: Achim Diedenhofen and Tobias Grossen

Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger (CH)

Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger have co-created immersive in situ installations since 1997. Transformation, proliferation and crystallization function as fully fledged components of their work, which metamorphoses according to the chemical reactions that develop within it. Viewers are invited to dive into a fantastical vegetative universe, or to participate in experiments that awaken their senses and minds. The artists’ installations, which are as unsettling as they are enchanting, forge links between antagonistic worlds, proposing that we observe the strange laboratory of the living with its biodiversity and ponder notions of fertility and growth.

Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger live in Switzerland. They participated in Expo02 with the gigantic Heimatmaschine. At the 2003 Venice Biennale they represented Switzerland with the delicate Falling Garden inside San Stae church and other invasive installations at the 21st Century Museum in Kanazawa Japan, in the baroque library in St. Gallen, at the Biennial of Contemporary Art in Seville, at the Moscow Biennale and more recently at the Kunsthaus Bregenz. Their permanent installation Vegetative Nervous System is shown in Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf.