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2023 LensCulture Emerging Talent Award
The installation Cumulus Umbilicaria is a collaboration between the two artists Hannah Grüninger and Florence Iff. In the walk-in space, collected lichens hanging from the ceiling are arranged into a cloud floating at eye level. Both artists have been working intensively for several years on lichens and other primordial organisms that are closely related to issues of climate and biodiversity.
The installation in the washroom aims to involve visitors in experiencing the lichens both intellectually, through scientific diagrams and images, and sensually. For this purpose, water bottles are available with which the cloud can be sprayed and scent and colour activated. This not only touches the visual senses. The fragrance cloud changes the whole room. Scientific pictures about lichens are additionally attached to the tiles, expanding the spectrum.
The reference to the washroom is given by the humidity of spraying the cloud. Letting go manifests itself in the possibility of losing oneself in the microcosm with additional magnifying glasses provided. The inclusion of other life forms relativises and opens up another world. Moreover, the metaphor of the cloud is the antithesis of the lichen, since the latter is symbiotically bound and develops very slowly.