Hybrids built upon the theme of the exhibitions Luster and Disruption, which Lustwarande presented in 2016 and 2017: the Anthropocene perspective. This show concluded the triptych but approached the theme from a completely different starting point, that of the ‘post-internet’ generation. ‘Post-internet’ refers to the generation that, since childhood, has grown up with digitisation and the internet.

Participating artists:

Neïl Beloufa (FR) – Giulia Cenci (IT) – Simon Denny (NZ) – Oliver Laric (AT) – Sarah Pichlkostner (AT) – Timur Si-Qin (DE) – Evita Vasiljeva (LV) – Raphaela Vogel (DE) – Anne de Vries (NL) – Dan Walwin (UK)

Curators: Chris Driessen (artistic director) & David Jablonowski (co-curator)

Hybrids focused on a generation of young artists, often described as post-internet, who use the all-encompassing, image-saturated digital world as the foundation of their work. This cohort of artists is characterised by an inquiring attitude towards the contemporary world. Technological advances and ecological, economic and sociocultural developments are important themes in their art. One particular key idea is that we live in a form of hyperreality, with media images increasingly replacing reality. In fact, there is no longer any distinction between this hyperreality and physical reality. This fusion is referred to by the term ‘mixed realities’. Post-internet artists recognise these mixed realities and disregard any supposed hierarchy between images, whether these are flat or 3D. All forms of media, styles, techniques, forms and materials are combined without any limits, resulting in a very hybrid visual language.

In their approach, these artists frequently question the authenticity of the work of art, a question raised by Walter Benjamin back in 1935 in his influential essay Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit. With the advent of the digital era, this reproducibility has become endless. Copies of copies no longer belong to anyone, and the original cannot be identified or simply no longer exists. Distribution of these repeatedly copied images occurs extremely rapidly on the internet, becoming an element of the global ‘share and like’ culture.

Hybrids was presented in the park setting of Lustwarande, where the anticipated contrast between the ‘natural elements’ and the works of art could hardly be greater. In spite of hybrid production processes, with digital and analogue techniques being mixed in all kinds of combinations, and the use of dramatically contrasting materials and forms, in which industrial confronts organic, and craftsmanship is pitted against DIY, the public space of the park appears to force the consideration and interpretation of the works in the direction of classical sculpture. These sculptures and installations are physical entities that blend beautifully with the context in which they are presented. At the same time, there is an emphasis on the relationship between these works and their surroundings: the Anthropocene world, in which nature and culture, organic and industrial, digital and analogue form a single entity. This ultimately allows location and works to lend each other greater eloquence.