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Chris Bierl: Mutual Adaption

Chris Bierl's exhibition at Kallmann-Museum in Ismaning includes installations, videos, photographs and also live animals. In the series "Anime," for example, Asian praying mantises sit on monochrome canvases to which, among other things, different colored earths have been applied. Slowly, the animals move across the picture surfaces, which are their habitat at this time, which they do not leave and to which they gradually adapt in color over the course of the exhibition. The video work "The Gathering of the Birds," which refers to a Persian poem from the 12th century, shows a tracking shot through the bird collection of a natural history museum. The animals staring at us seem as if they have gathered there independently, but it remains unclear whether they are alive or not.

Chris Bierl
The Gathering of the Birds 2018/19 Full HD Video, 5’55’’, Loop
© Chris Bierl

Berlin-based artist Chris Bierl (b. 1980) has been awarded the Kallmann Prize 2021 for his exploration of the theme of "animal". His works, which can be seen from December 11 in the solo exhibition "Mutual Adaption", explore the relationship between animals and their environment and between humans and the landscape. They question the mutual relationships of dependence and adaptation between these different forms of life and areas. The Kallmann Prize is endowed with 8,500 euros, and around 300 artists from all over Germany have applied for it in 2021.

Chris Bierl
Anime 31°10’37.8’’N 130°33’37.9’’E, #1 2015/16
154,7 x 119,8 x 5,5 cm Gottesanbeterin, Sand, Holz
© Chris Bierl

The large-format landscape photographs show the consequences of industrial raw material extraction for the landscape and thus expand the theme of how living beings and habitat relate to each other to include the human factor. Bierl's sculptural installations combine different raw materials and elements such as oil sands, iron, sulfur, and wood, which the viewers mentally relate to one another. Relationships of forces, chemical processes, and changes appear, which sometimes imbues the works with something alchemical.

Chris Bierl
Redeem and Save #1 2021Fine Art Print90 × 120 cm
© Chris Bierl

Bierl's works, which repeatedly allude to a possible ensoulment of nature, are concerned with complex reciprocal relationships between animals, humans, and nature. At the same time, they raise questions about biosystems and habitats, about the scientific recording of nature as well as its destruction. It is about the creation and utilization of raw materials as well as the vitality of landscape. For his view of the relationship between living beings and their habitats, Chris Bierl receives the Kallmann Prize 2021.

Chris Bierl
Website | Instagram

Chris Bierl was born in 1980 and studied in Munich and Leipzig, where he was a master student at the Academy of Visual Arts. Residencies and sponsorships have taken him to France and Japan, among other places. His work incorporates the experiences of his extensive wanderings in often remote regions of the world.

Chris Bierl – Mutual Adaption

Schloßstr. 3b | D-85737 Ismaning / Germany

through 27. Februar 2022


The Kallmann Prize is aimed at visual artists living in Germany and honors special contemporary artistic achievements in the themes that were focal points in the work of Hans Jürgen Kallmann (1908-1991), the founder of the Kallmann Museum: Portrait, Animal and Landscape. The prize is endowed with 8,500 euros, divided into 1,000 euros in prize money and 7,500 euros for a solo exhibition with catalog. The previous winners were Yvonne Roeb (animal) in 2018, Doris Maximiliane Würgert (portrait) in 2019 and Lena von Goedeke (landscape) in 2021.

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