Bettina von Arnim – The cyborgs and their traces 1960 – 2020

12 May to 16 August 2020 From 12 May to 16 August 2020, Kunsthalle Lingen is presenting a retrospective solo exhibition entitled „The Cyborgs and their Traces“ by German-born artist Bettina von Arnim, who now lives in southwest France. In the 1960s, she studied in West Berlin at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste and in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and with the graphic artist Johnny Friedländer. To this day Bettina von Arnim works primarily in the media of painting and graphic art. She presented her artistic work in solo exhibitions at the Kunstverein Augsburg, the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and the Musée de Cahors, among others, and participated in group exhibitions at the Frankfurter Kunstverein and the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main, among others. Today her works are represented in many renowned collections and museums such as the New National Gallery in Berlin, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main, the Kunstmuseum Bonn and the Museum of the City of Gothenburg. The exhibition „The Cyborgs and their Traces“ includes paintings in oil on canvas and etchings from the years 1960 to 2020. In many of her works Bettina von Arnim reflects the theme „Man / Machine“ in an imaginative way. Against the background of the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the moon landing and the arms race during the Cold War, the pictures reflect the theme of being enclosed in metal and suggest that the technical shell has replaced man. They tell of the destruction of nature, animals and plants by the technocrats. Especially since the 1990s with the invention of the Internet, we live in an increasingly digitally structured world. Cyborgs are mixtures of technology and humans that no longer exist only in ideas or visions of the future. We see denatured creatures in fantastic outfits, in costumes that provide insights into their inner workings: in labyrinthine computer chips. After the world of apparatuses and mechanized „living beings“, the artist designs „cultural landscapes“ that suggest incredible depth. We see stereometrically nested orders in which helpless giants lie. In the end, all that remains are the traces, the landscapes cut up by the „machine guys“, or a relief of letters stretching to the horizon. Although the pictures may seem amusing at first glance, their analytical sharpness is frightening.