NOWs: Talking to Thunder by Julius von Bismarck
Talking to Thunder
In a historical moment gripped by environmental catastrophes of our own making, Julius von Bismarck confronts the forces of nature at their unruly extremes. Deploying sculpture, photography, video and technological devices designed to harness the elements, Bismarck stills water droplets and fragments of exploding stone, shaping them into slow-motion disasters calibrated to the rate of human perception. Through performative encounters with lightning, wildfires, hurricanes and ocean waves, the artist stages a timely reckoning with the fate of age-old ideas of nature. Following a forward by museum director Susanne Pfleger, Talking to Thunder explores the implications of Bismarck’s latest work through essays by philosopher Dehlia Hannah and curator Nadim Samman, interviews with Wiwa shaman Taita, Jurgen Trittin of the German Green Party, and fire historian Stephen Pyne, and excerpts from Gaston Bachelard and Max Frisch.
Julius von Bismarck (*1983) grew up in Riad, Saudi Arabia, and Freiburg, Germany. He studied visual communications at the Berlin University of the Arts and at Hunter College in New York, and finished his graduate studies under Olafur Eliasson in 2013.