Isabel Lewis & Dirk Bell
24. July – 21. August 2021
21. August 15:00

Intim/e, 2020 – approx. 3020

Beginning on July 24 and ending on August 21, Isabel Lewis and Dirk Bell are staging an intervention between installation, experiment and performance that is dedicated to the contradictory material plastic. With the moth as key protagonist, the artists are celebrating the decomposition of plastic as a collaborative, cross-species act.

„With Intim/e we are opening a window onto a process which began in the summer of 2020 and will likely continue well beyond the duration of our lives. Last summer we began scavenging discarded plastic tarps from the many construction sites surrounding our Wedding studios, finding ourselves highly attracted to the material. Whilst in the middle of the process of creation for my collaborative exhibition Scalable Skeletal Escalator for Kunsthalle Zurich, we were researching into the history of the human body’s modes of figuration and among many things learned that plastic contamination can now be found in all the major tissues of the human body. The impact of this horrific fact was a starting point for the building of an empathic relation with the material recognizing it as continuous with us. We began working on transforming our relation to plastic by literally reversing modes of behaviour with it–rather than discarding it, recovering it; rather than quick use, spending time handling it, stretching it, ornamenting it, and composing with it – and in doing so imbuing the plastic with time and care. The next concern for us was to initiate a process of digestion with plastic and so have begun a collaboration with a team of scientists from Freie Universität Berlin and greater wax moth (Galleria Mellonella) caterpillars that have the ability to not only chew but digest polyethylene. On the terrace and garden of Schinkel Pavillon we stage an intervention of dancing plastic paintings in the process of decomposition asking ourselves, ‘What happens when we commit for the duration of our lives to a process of collaborative digestion with a material that will outlast our lived existence?'”

– Isabel Lewis & Dirk Bell


Live-Performance on Saturday, 21 August

Performance and Installation by Dirk Bell & Isabel Lewis
in cooperation with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop (Mia Bodet, Anna Faber, Ildiko Ludwig, Boram Lie) and Ethan Braun


Curated by Kerstin Renerig


Photos: Silke Briel