Artists: Pakui Hardware
Exhibition title: Shapeshifters
Venue: Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Düren, Germany
Date: May 2 – August 8, 2021
Photography: Ugnius Gelguda / courtesy: the artists and carlier | gebauer (Berlin / Madrid)
Increasingly, we are interacting with machines with artificial intelligence. How does the relationship to body and technology change when assistance systems become dialog partners and virtual care replaces human contact? Questions like these form the basis of the artistic work of Pakui Hardware (Ugnius Gelguda and Neringa Černiauskaitė in Lithuania), which centers on the body as a changeable, optimizable interface of numerous influences. Their installations revolve around the relationship between humans, the environment, and technology. Organic and synthetic elements form hybrid sculptural constellations that question categorical divisions of natural and artificial, inside and outside. Some evoke associations with metabolic processes or futuristic laboratory apparatus, while others appear as figurations of alien life forms that emanate an uncanny energy in their fragmentary form. By referring to the promises, fears, and dangers associated with digitalization, synthetic biology, robotics, and body design, the works also unfold a critical potential.
Shapeshifters exhibition at the Leopold Hoesch Museum is part of the Günther Peill Foundation’s scholarship and award program, and is curated by Andreas Prinzing. In the four museum’s spaces, the show presents works of the last four years of Pakui Hardware artistic practice. New book Shape Shifters was published on this occasion, containing essays by Yuk Hui, Hannah Landecker, Alvin Li, and an interview of the artists with Saliva magazine (Ilona Dergach), as well as a selection of the duo’s works starting from 2016.
The exhibition and the books are supported by Günther Peill Foundation and Lithuanian Council for Culture.