Naturkunden @ C/O Berlin III
In the Naturkunden series, the Berlin publishing house Matthes & Seitz publishes books that tell of nature, of animals and plants, of fungi and people, of landscapes, stones and celestial bodies, of animate and inanimate, alien and familiar nature. As in the visual art work of Hamburg-based photographer Jochen Lempert, the volumes are not about mere science, but about passionate exploration of the world.
In this format, C/O Berlin, together with Naturkunden, invites selected authors from the series to walk through the exhibition Jochen Lempert . Lingering Sensations and to enter into a dialogue about nature and its photographic representation. This time with Peter Geimer.
Hardly any living creature is as annoying as the fly; wherever it appears, it disturbs us and at the same time displays a remarkable penetrance. No wonder that since antiquity a veritable literature of condemnation has been established against these defenceless insects, which would love to harm every fly. In his cultural history of the seemingly superfluous insect, Peter Geimer shows its astonishing wealth of facets, from the fascination with its special visual apparatus in film, television and photography history to its appearance in painting and its central role in the study of genes. Given this, the question of why we nevertheless reject the fly with such furore becomes all the more pressing. A suspicion suggests itself: Perhaps we envy its stoic insouciance and secretly suspect that we are probably more indifferent to it than it is to us.
Conceptualized by Judith Schalansky and Kathrin Schönegg.
In cooperation with Matthes & Seitz Berlin.
Peter Geimer (b.1965) is an art historian whose research interests include the history and theory of photography, historical painting and film. After academic posts in Zurich and Bielefeld, he has been Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the Free University of Berlin since 2010 and Director of the German Forum for Art History since 2022.