Anima mundi; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Erzsébet Baerveldt, Pietà

Where does human life start and where does it end?

Erzsébet Baerveldt, Pietà

Johan Tahon, Sacrifice

Johan Tahon, Sacrifice

The answer to that question seems to be obvious enough: it starts with birth and it ends with death.

Anonymous, Nkisi nkondi

Anonymous, Nkisi nkondi

Anonymous, Christ at the Whipping Post

Michaël Borremans, The Angel

But our spirit is able to animate dead matter, and if it doesn’t do so physically it tries to do so spiritually.

Michaël Borremans, The Angel

Berlinde De Bruyckere, Into One-Another II To P.P.P.

Berlinde De Bruyckere, Into One-Another II To P.P.P.

We try to grasp life and death in scientific, philosophical, religious, spiritual and artistic ways.

Michel Nedjar, Untitled, Doll

Melanie Bonajo, Matrix Botanica – Biosphere above Nations

Melanie Bonajo, Matrix Botanica – Biosphere above Nations

Desirée Dolron, Vegetarian Festival Thailand

Where are the differences between science and ritual, between description and imagination, between a Congolese nkisi figure and a robot?

Desirée Dolron, Xteriors VIII

Anonymous, Kawe

Reynold Reynolds, Secret Machine

Or are there no real differences?

Reynold Reynolds, Secret Machine

David Altmejd, Delicate Man Contemplating Options

David Altmejd, Delicate Man Contemplating Options

David Altmejd, Delicate Man Contemplating Options

Hans van der Ham (1960) has curated a wonderful and very full summer exhibition in the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam with works and objects varying from robots to Medieval and Renaissance paintings.

Paul de Reus, Doll

Boston Dynamics, Testing Robustness

Boston Dynamics, Testing Robustness

Per room the show is arranged in different chapters.

Boston Dynamics, Testing Robustness

Jeantine Lunshof, Eswar Iyer, Mark Skyler-Scott, Brain organoid

Jeantine Lunshof, Eswar Iyer, Mark Skyler-Scott, Brain organoid

Inez van Lamsweerde, Final Fantasy Series, Wendy

It tries to avoid the sentimental aspects of life and death but instead focuses on the way we try to harness or control life apart from physical human life, and in doing so create different aesthetics.

Head in formaldehyde

Baby in formaldehyde

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Augustijn Claterbos

As such aesthetics has become a matter of life and death.

Augustijn Claterbos

Augustijn Claterbos

Berlinde De Bruyckere

This is surely one of the most inspired and inspiring thematic exhibitions of the season.

Anonymous, Uramun

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to the owners of the works and to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Bertus Pieters

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