Show at the GrazMuseum

The city is a very lively organism

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14.05.2024 18:00

In common parlance, the terms "city" and "nature" are often used as opposites. Yet the city is a surprisingly diverse habitat - not only for people, but also for animals and plants. The GrazMuseum sets out in search of this diversity in its new exhibition "Habitat Graz".

"The city is a habitat that is constantly changing," says GrazMuseum director Sibylle Dienesch, meaning not only new buildings or people moving in and out. Countless animals and plants also live in the city - sometimes it takes no more than a crack in the asphalt to create a new habitat in which a flower can blossom or an ant can find shelter.

Interactive exhibition
Curator Daniela Brasil also wants to make the city in the exhibition tangible as a living organism: "That's why we designed the show to be very interactive. We don't want to dictate to visitors what they should think about the relationship between the city and nature, but rather make them want to think about it themselves," she says.

Conrad Kreuzer's painting "View of Graz from the Ruckerlberg" (1851) can also be seen in the show (Bild: Sammlung Graz Museum)
Conrad Kreuzer's painting "View of Graz from the Ruckerlberg" (1851) can also be seen in the show

And so the exhibition presents above all unusual views of the Graz ecosystem: the spectrum ranges from a huge carpet that shows a satellite image of Graz and makes the city and its waterways literally walkable, to insights into the often tiny habitats of some animals and plants. Species that have long been displaced from the urban space or have become extinct are represented, as are newcomers that have only just found their place in the city.

Interaction of needs
Above all, however, the exhibition also shows the interaction between the needs of human and non-human city dwellers: "For example, we are showing a video in which a swarm of bats can be seen trying to find shelter in a private apartment in a panic after they had to flee their old home because it was being demolished," says Brasil. It is just one example of the complexities of living and surviving in the city.

"Assisted Garden" by Andrea Acosta (Bild: GrazMuseum/Sebastian Reiser)
"Assisted Garden" by Andrea Acosta

At the same time, the show is also based on many artistic works that shift the focus away from the big picture to the small details: Andrea Acosta's installation works, for example, deal with the quarries around Graz and the natural history that is inscribed there. And sound artist Mandy Mozart not only makes the earth resound, but also lets crows have their say.

All in all, "Habitat Graz" is a Wunderkammer of urban biodiversity into which you can immerse yourself and emerge with many new insights. On view until February 2, 2025.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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