3 November 2017 until 4 March 2018
Respect / Harmony / Submission

Animals are a frequent subject of debate these days. How much do they suffer? Are we under any obligation to protect their individuality by granting them rights? Are human beings morally authorized to do as they want with animals, to consume them, rob them of their freedom and train them for the purposes of entertainment? Scientific discussion takes the relationship between animal and man very seriously. In the everyday life of our consumption-oriented society, on the other hand, that relationship oscillates between unreflecting exploitation and sentimental anthropomorphization. Against the background of these contrasts, the exhibition "Animals" at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) will be geared primarily towards informing visitors and sensitizing them to ways and means of respectful co-existence. With a view to the visual and applied arts but also to science, the show will undertake to re-evaluate the common history of man and animal from the perspective of a wide range of epochs, cultures and media. Loans from museums as well as natural history and ethnology-oriented institutions of Germany and the world will enhance the objects from the MKG’s own abundant and diverse collection. The chief focus will be on works of the visual arts in which the interaction between animal and man gives rise to something altogether new. So-called thematic islands will unite creations of high culture with those from popular contexts, while also integrating examples from indigenous cultures and natural history. The exhibition will feature some 150 objects dating from antiquity to the present, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, video art, large-scale installations and films – works by Albrecht Dürer, Johann Heinrich Füssli, Fernand Khnopff, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Douglas Gordon, Jean Paul Gaultier, Ai Weiwei and many others.

Ill.: Franz Marc, 1880-1916, Dog Lying in the Snow, 1910/1911, oil on canvax, 62,5 × 105 cm, Property of the Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V. © Städel Museum - ARTOTHEK