The Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt is dedicating a major exhibition to the cultural history of vision. At the centre of the exhibition is the diorama, the representation that simulates a real vision, forming the basis for reflecting on staging and reconstructing reality.
What is more topical than staged reality in an image-dominated world?
Diorama. Inventing Illusion
is an exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt
that explores the cultural history of vision starting from an invention and forerunner to modern photography by Frenchman, Louis Daguerre in the 19th century - the diorama
. A scene set in motion by lighting effects and staged in a display case became the quintessential presentation of natural history museums from then on.
The diorama as a representation that appears faithful to a part of the world, to events and to stories, mainly established itself as a museum installation with illusionist effects
, turning science into a scene, or rather an immersive experience, before the term even existed
. Closely connected to architecture due to the skilful placement of objects in front of painted backdrops, and attentive mixing and matching of materials presented by a team of artists, anthropologists and taxidermists to form a scene, it evolves into an object itself.
This complex form of exhibiting is basically a 3D image
and as such it affects the viewer's perception and therefore their reception of the visual message. The exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle addresses for the first time the complex relationship of the diorama and staged vision with deconstructed reality - an issue dear to the heart of many modern and contemporary artists. The Schirn has developed the diorama artistically and using different techniques to deliver a chronological narrative that traces the cultural history of vision
alongside the world of museum exhibitions.
The exhibition will be running until 21 January 2018 and is accompanied by lots of collateral events based on the theme of illusion and reality, as well as a catalogue and an app so visitors can interact with the exhibition.
Exhibition Diorama. Inventing Illusion.
curated by Katharina Dohm, Claire Garnier, Laurent Le Bon and Florence Ostende
from 6 October 2017 to 21 January 2018
Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
01_Schirn_Presse_Diorama_Dall-Schaf_UeberseeMuseum_Foto_Matthias_Haase.jpg - Alaska-Schneeschaf, Denali National Park, 1997, 400 x 190 x 238 cm, © Übersee-Museum, Foto: Matthias Haase
02_Schirn_Presse_Diorama_Installationsansicht_3_Foto_Norbert_Miguletz.jpg - DIORAMA. ERFINDUNG EINER ILLUSION, Ausstellungsansicht © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2017, Foto: Norbert Miguletz
Schirn_Presse_Diorama_Installationsansicht_2_Foto_Norbert_Miguletz.jpg - DIORAMA. ERFINDUNG EINER ILLUSION, Ausstellungsansicht © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2017, Foto: Norbert Miguletz
Schirn_Presse_Diorama_Installationsansicht_8_Foto_Norbert_Miguletz.jpg - DIORAMA. ERFINDUNG EINER ILLUSION, Ausstellungsansicht © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2017, Foto: Norbert Miguletz
Schirn_Presse_Diorama_Installationsansicht_Foto_Norbert_Miguletz.jpg - DIORAMA. ERFINDUNG EINER ILLUSION, Ausstellungsansicht © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2017, Foto: Norbert Miguletz
Schirn_Presse_Diorama_ManWithBuffalo_2007__c_RichardBarnes.jpg - Richard Barnes, Man with Buffalo, 2007, Inkjetprint, 137,2 x 167,7 cm, © Richard Barne
Schirn_Presse_Diorama_Mark_Dion_Paris_Streetscape_2017.jpg - Mark Dion, Paris Streetscape, 2017, Ausstellungsansicht Dioramas, Palais de Tokyo (14.6.–10.9.2017), verschiedene Materialien, 180 x 250 x 150 cm, Courtesy Mark Dion / Galerie in Situ – Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, Foto: Aurélien Mole
Schirn_Presse_Diorama_Mathieu_Mercier_Ohne_Titel__Axolotl-Paar__2012_full.jpg - Mathieu Mercier, Ohne Titel (Axolotl-Paar), 2012, Vitrine, Neonbeleuchtung, Torf, Aquarium, Wasser, Axolotl-Paar, 219,5 x 180 x 330 cm, Ausstellungsansicht Centre d’Art contemporain d’Ivry, Courtesy the artist & Mehdi Chouakri, Foto: André Morin/le Crédac
Catalogue: Diorama, edited by Katharina Dohm, Claire Garnier, Laurent Le Bon and Florence Ostende. With a preface by Philipp Demandt, a few words of introduction by Christian Strenger, an introduction by the editors and essays by writers such as Donna Haraway, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Anselm Kiefer, Petra Lange-Berndt and Kent Monkman. German edition