Exhibition at gallery Bernhard Knaus, Frankfurt a.M., February 5 – March 27, 2021
"Flo Maak’s work makes it clear that we should not imagine life and nature as a Garden of Eden that has been destroyed and to which we could return. The boundaries of organisms are precarious. Bodies are dependent on and permeated by heterogenous others, such as organisms, artefacts and bacteria. They are inconsistent “multitudes”: congregations, movements, constellations that describe what is primarily co-existence beyond all political frameworks, statehood or social contracts. In political philosophy, the multitude is considered the opposite of a tribe or nation. It exists beyond sovereignty and for this reason has also been considered threatening – uncontrollable, emotional structures that undermine the state order. Multitude II focusses on a multi-species assemblage: The encounter with the side of a horse’s face, covered in flies, in front of it a rusty lattice, its shadow, the sunlight. The horse appears infested with flies, but the powerful batting of lashes that will bring a new order seems to be in the air. The possibility of the continuous reconfiguration of natural/cultural structures is implied here, while the hinted-at possibility also emphasizes the latter’s relative elusiveness. The fact that this “web of life” does not form a harmonious coherence is expressed not only in the parasitic-symbiotic relationship between the organisms, but also in the rusty fence. However, it is also here that a special strength of the representation relates to perspective: Our encounter with the horse is less of a sentimentalized meeting “on an equal footing”, than a reminder of the involvement of the numerous multitudes that make up (a) life."
A video of me talking about the exhibition (in German) can be viewed here.