Inhuman – Fridericianum

Nicholas Deshayes, Cramps, 2015


On 28 March 2015, the group exhibition Inhuman, curated by Susanne Pfeffer, will open at Fridericianum in Kassel. The image of the human being has changed significantly in recent decades. Technological innovations, socioeconomic transformations, and new insights gained in neurology compel us to rethink the constructs that define what is human and enable us to conceive them anew in the form of the inhuman. 

“From the perspective of the present, the future of humanity might be monstrous… but this is not necessarily a bad thing.” Julieta Aranda

The artists participating in the exhibition Inhuman offer visions of the human being as a socially trained yet resistant body, transcending biologically or socially determined gender classifications, as a digitally immortal entity, or as a constantly evolving self. They visualize the constructs that define what is human and shift existing perspectives on human subjectivity and the body, thereby questioning the primacy of the human being at a fundamental level.

In view of the breakneck pace of technological innovation and far-reaching climatic and geological changes, the primacy of humans has increasingly come under fire. Is the humanistic concept of the human being as the “measure of all things” still tenable? Inhuman gathers international positions by young artists whose works examine current humanoid body models which go beyond avatars, cyborgs and hybrids. They confront us with the view that present-day humans have already entered an intermediate stage of self-estrangement at varying degrees, and thereby illustrate the dystopian aspects of this development. The exhibition will examine the construct of the “human” ex negativo, offering new anthropological concepts which take into account the rapid changes of our present day. At an accompanying symposium, contemporary philosophers will address aspects of the post-human and inhuman. An extensive educational and event programme will supplement the exhibition, hopefully providing a substantial contribution to the debate surrounding a new concept of humankind.

Artists: Julieta Aranda (MX), Dora Budor (HR), Andrea Crespo (US), Nicolas Deshayes (FR), Aleksandra Domanović (YU), David Douard (FR), Jana Euler, Cécile B. Evans (US), Melanie Gilligan (CA), Oliver Laric (AT), Johannes Paul Raether, Pamela Rosenkranz (CH), Stewart Uoo (US), Lu Yang (CN), Anicka Yi (KR) and others

Fridericianum – Friedrichsplatz 18, Kassel
28 March – 16 June 2015