Expanded Self II

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Sonja Bäumel
Expanded Self II explicitly depicts and shows the wonder of the human body. We, humans, are “a semicontinuous spectrum of interactive bacterial nations”[1], as we have five times more bacterial cells than human cells living both inside and on us. Therefore, the apparent human form that we see is not a single whole, but rather an accumulation of many tiny parts, that is, microorganisms that inhabit and rule over their human hosts.
Through this work, Bäumel creates a space where the potential of bacteria as cooperative partners can be re-imagined and where we can explore the implications on larger processes of cultural significance.
The project was realized for the exhibition ‘Gare du Nord’, initiated by Chiara Ianeselli and developed with Lucas Evers of Waag Society. The group exhibition of three artists took place in summer 2015 at the Theatrum Anatomicum of the Waag in Amsterdam. It was an exhibition about the body: its shape, its membranes, and its boundaries. The artists interpreted a sentence written along the walls of the theatre (a quote by humanist Caspar Barlaeus). The project was kindly supported by Erich Schopf, by the Waag Society Amsterdam, and by the Austrian Embassy, The Hague.

For the 2016 Musrara Mix Festival, part of the artist's body will be overgrown with microbes in their actual environment, Jerusalem.

[1] Reg Morrison comments on Margulis/ Sagan 2007.

With the support of the Austria Embassy Tel-Aviv
Artist Site

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