press release

How do animals create history?

The exhibition revolves around ­nonverbal communication, co-authorship – animal biographies.

The artists‘s works lay (auto)biographical trails and follow ­individual abilities of wild, domestic, liminal animals.

The audio guide Retrozoology by Uli Westphal gives a retrospective view of human perceptions of animals for the past 2,350 years. All quotations are marked by strange, sometimes erroneous conceptions and misinterpretations, resulting from primal encounters with unknown creatures. For Linimal Animal Lucy Powell collected whiskers shed by her cat over a number of years. Arranged on black velvet in a shellac frame the whiskers reference the way cats use their whiskers for spatial navigation. The sound installation Contact Call is a co-production by Hörner |Antlfinger and two African grey parrots who are extremely talented in adapting to the sounds of their social environment. The parrots are also the co-creators of daily sketches in the form of reworked magazines and newspapers. The photos are presented for the first time in the exhibition. In their video Two Homes Hörner |Antlfinger show human infringements on animal biographies. Found footage of a pet bird is intercut with images of a poultry farm.

The exhibition provides a first insight into the Open Archive Clever Hans. Conceived in collaboration with cultural theorist Stephan Zandt it will be continually updated. Clever Hans lived at Prenzlauer Berg Berlin from 1895-1916 and became famous as the "horse that could count“. The open archive collects references to the history of Clever Hans and his particular talent for reading muscle movements.

The exhibition is part of the project series we, animals that features artistic positions on the current debate on human-animal relations.

It is funded by Kulturamt Pankow zu Berlin and Stiftung Kulturwerk der VG Bild-Kunst Bonn.