Throughout history, humans have been fascinated by fungi. They are neither plants, nor animals but live in symbiosis with both. They are all around us and inside us, but they often remain invisible.
The last decades, scientific discoveries have shown how the underground fine mesh (mycelium) network of fungi, unites eco systems and shapes our world. However, the world of fungi is still full of mysteries, waiting to be solved.
In the exhibition Fungi – In Art and Science, the world of fungi is explored through artworks, design objects, fashion and contemporary scientific research.
Carsten Höller - Double Mushroom Vitrine (Forty-eigthfold), 2021. ©CFHILL
Dress worn by the artist Björk at the release of her album 'Fossora'. The dress is designed by Daniel del Core and the mask by the Swedish artist David Åberg. © Vidar Logi
The transboundary nature of fungi, with their ability of symbiosis and transformation, has been an inspiration for many artists. Some examples, whose works will be exhibited, are Carsten Höller, Olle Norås, Seana Gavin, Anna Dumitriu and the artist collective Marshmallow Laser Feast.
In fashion, inspiration also comes from fungi, both when it comes to design and material. In the exhibition this is represented by Balenciaga’s coat made of plant-based leather made of mycelium, and the mushroom-themed dress created for the artist Björk, by Daniel del Core.
In popular culture, literature and art, fungi have often symbolised an access to the collective, the unconscious and an alternative view of the surrounding world. In scientific research the question of how fungi can change our view of the world, is also present. How can fungi grow hundreds of meters below in the bedrock, and what does this tell us about the origin of life? Could we build houses and make clothes made of fungi? How can fungi challenge our view of where an individual or a species, starts and ends? And could psychedelic mushrooms cure depression?
In the exhibition the visitor will also be invited to enter the literary world of Nobel Prize laureate Olga Tokarczuk, which is teeming with mushrooms. In her book House of Day, House of Night, she states: “If I wasn’t a human, I would like to be a mushroom.”
Welcome to the world of fungi.
Karl-Johan Cottman and Magnus af Petersens
Artists participating in the exhibition:
Balenciaga, Daniel Del Core, Anna Dumitriu & Alex May, Seana Gavin, Joanna Hellgren, Carsten Höller, Lundahl & Seitl + Untold Garden, Mae-ling Lokko, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Maurizio Montalti, Iwo Myrin, Olle Norås, Jae Rhim Lee, Phil Ross & Vera Meyer, Amanda Selinder, Lisa Schönberg & Allie ES Wist and Wim van Egmond.
Researchers featured in videos that are part of the exhibition include:
Anders Dahlberg, mycology (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Henrik Drake, geology (Linnaeus University), Hanna Johannesson, mycology (Stockholm University/Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences), Johan Lundberg, psychiatry (Karolinska Institutet), Anna Rosling, mycology (Uppsala University) and Sven Olov Wallenstein, philosophy (Södertörn University).
Exhibition design: Birger Lipinski
Graphic design: Ateljé Grotesk