Hybrid Matter

Andreas Greiner's latest exhibition examining the convergence of art, nature, and technology

Words By Alison Rhoades
Photos By Edit Yourself KIT, DIY Crisper Genome Engineering KIT Photograph by Jens Ziehe Copyright Andreas Greiner, 2018 Courtesy of DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin

Date:  28.04.18 – 23.06.18
Venue: Dittrich & Schlechtriem, Linienstrasse 23, 10178 Berlin
Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-18:00

The subtle overlap between art and nature is the central through-line of Andreas Greiner’s work. His practice situates itself at the intersection of the minute and the majestic, the scientific and abstract, the natural and the digital. His current show, Hybrid Matter at Ditrich & Schlechtriem is an impressive collection of pieces examining the natural and the technological, posing imperative questions about what indeed constitutes ‘nature’ in a world increasingly influenced by technical interventions.

Take Edit Yourself KIT, a collection of supplies for DIY gene modification assembled by biohacker Josiah Zayner. The framing and presentation of the kit as an artwork gives viewers pause, a chance to reflect on what the tools depicted represent, both from an aesthetic perspective (are we actively ‘creating’ when we edit our own genes?) and an ethical one (what are the moral implications of such an act?). With the rapid pace of technological advancement, Greiner’s works offer us a moment of reverie to contemplate where we might be headed.

But the works are far from temporal moments. In fact, they actively freeze time in its tracks, as with Replicating Seed, a nickel silver sculpture produced with a 3D printer to capture an actual cell dividing. In the final room, Panorama of a Landscape, stunning bluish landscapes of nebulous forms are actually blown up images of intestinal cancer cells. Here, as in his 2015 piece Heinrich, Greiner seeks to upset our concept of portraiture and what exactly merits it. As Carson Chan in the catalogue essay so eloquently puts it, “To represent an individual is to fix their likeness to a moment. From that point on, the individual carries out parallel lives: one propelled into continuous changes, the other frozen; one guided by subjectivity, the other by the narrative interpretation of others.”