The honey bee — we know about its important role as a useful insect and pollinator, but equally as a biological indicator of environmental change. The disproportionally significant part it plays in ecosystems is becoming better known, not least because it is under threat. On the other hand, neurobiologists study these insects in order to understand how communication functions between nerve cells. But what part do they play in art?
Numerous contemporary artists have positioned honey bees at the heart of their practice or in key works, either the creature itself with its highly complex social behaviour, or its products of honey or beeswax. This complex, societally relevant topic will thus be brought into focus and examined through important works from contemporary art in the Kunsthaus Baselland exhibition. The exhibition at the Kunsthaus is created in cooperation with the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona and was curated there by Martina Millà. Beehave equally challenges our behaviour and our role within society. It also, however, poses the question of what responsibility we want or should take in relation to our environment. In addition, the exhibition will illustrate how artists today occupy a seismographic role regarding many important current topics, and how bees can serve us as a model organism. The topic will be further investigated through an extensive mediation and events programme, a symposium and a volume of texts. This latter contains contributions from Simon Baur, Martin Dettli, Ines Goldbach, Manuel Herz, Dieter Koepplin, Martina Millà and Hansmartin Siegrist, as well as an interview with the artist Sandra Knecht, and is published by the Verlag für moderne Kunst, Vienna. (AC/E press-release)