Four museums in Basel are joining forces to illuminate the theme of “animalistic!” in different ways. The Antikenmuseum Basel focuses on the theme of animals and mixed creatures; the imagery of ancient culture fires our imagination with frightening mixed creatures and monstrous creatures.
In the first room of the exhibition, viewers are met by a large double projection showing a computer-generated mystical forest. Every now and then, a deer or a rabbit scurries by.
The core area of the exhibition deals with the most famous hybrid creatures and monstrous creatures from the mythical world, such as the centaurs, the griffins, the sphinx and the chimera. These hybrid beings trace their origins to cultures in the Middle East and Egypt. In Greece, they became a symbol of a strange, dangerous and chaotic world against which civilization had to stand its ground. The images on various vessels testify to the significance of these creatures.
A projection shows various excerpts from movies and videogames in which such hybrid creatures appear. For example, the griffin from Harry Potter flies past us over the water.
A slide show of various hybrid creatures of the modern world, such as Terminator with its indestructible body, is played on a monitor.
The footprints of a deer indicate a trail for children on the floor. They lead to a touch screen on which various hybrid beings such as the Sphinx or the Siren are graphically represented. Clicking on these images shows all sorts of information about them.
The next and last room “Man vs. Wild” shows the eternal struggle between good and evil and explains the meaning of these battles in the imagination of ancient cultures, such as in the sagas about Heracles or Theseus.
A sound installation surprises visitors and brings the exhibits to life. Four loudspeakers are distributed around the room and play sounds of snakes, horses galloping, birds flapping their wings, and so on. The deer track continues to a small room where, upon entering, Aesop’s fables are read aloud, triggered by a sensor.
Tweaklab was responsible for the planning, programming and installation of all media installations for the exhibition. Tweaklab was also responsible for the preparation of all media as well as the sound design.
Commission: Antikenmuseum Basel
Scenography: Trinidad Moreno
Animation: Matthias Pfäffli
Duration of the exhibition: 19.09.2021–19.06.2022