Anne Marie Maes is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brussels. Her practice combines art and science, with a particular interest in biotechnology, ecosystems and alchemical processes, and she works with a range of biological, digital and traditional media, including living organisms. On the roof of her studio in Brussels, she has created an outdoor laboratory and experimental garden where she studies symbiotic organisms and the processes nature uses to create form. Her long-term projects “Bee Agency” and “Laboratory for Form and Matter,” in which she experiments with bacteria and living textiles, provide a framework that has inspired a wide range of installations, sculptures, photographs, objects and performances, all at the intersection of art and ecology.
Anne Marie Maes has exhibited her work at art centers and festivals around the world. She received an honorable mention at Ars Electronica for her ongoing research project, “The Intelligent Guerilla Beehive.”
From 16/2/2023 to 30/3/2023, the Kunsthalle Mulhouse will host Alchimia Nova, an exhibition by Belgian artist Anne Marie Maes, from February 17 to April 30, 2023. For more than 15 years, the artist has been taking a non-anthropocentric look at the world, focusing her research on the symbiotic relationship between all living micro-organisms, including plants, bacteria and fungi. For her project in Mulhouse, Maes continues her investigations during a research residency on micro-organisms as a medium of creation, and she is particularly interested in what the Alsatian soils have to offer her for the creation of new works in collaboration with a team of microbiologists from the CNRS – University of Strasbourg. After several harvests, Maes elaborates a palette of colors characteristic of the region using pigments obtained from the extraction or decoction of wild plants, mushrooms and bacteria from the soil.
At the heart of the exhibition will be the Lab for Form & Matter, a work in the form of a combined laboratory and artist’s workshop and the center of the artist’s interactions with scientists and the public. This research space will be set in motion by the artist at key moments when she will invite the public to participate in her project.
Alchimia Nova is a living, evolving exhibition composed of new experiments and existing works, all inspired by the rhythm, energy, beauty and inventiveness of nature.
ABOUT ANNEMARIE MAES
My rooftop garden is my laboratory. It is my training ground to develop my creativity, and it enables me to have an active dialogue with living material. It is a space where thinking and manual work go hand in hand. It connects the visible with the invisible and brings together making and performing. My art research is based on a collaboration with living organisms such as plants, insects and bacteria. I research the natural networks and dynamic ecosystems they are part of. The resulting artworks have their own behavior, metabolism and agency. The installations and sculptures grow, communicate, sense, smell and react. They are evolving performances where each installation has its own lifetime, creating a landscape on the border between natural life and science fiction.
AnneMarie Maes is an artist and researcher who has been active as an independent professional artist since 1999, and as founder and coordinator of several artist collectives. Her work is built on 3 strands: 1. through her deep concern for socio-ecological issues, she creates artworks that stimulate social change, this in the tradition of Joseph Beuys and the Fluxus movement. 2. For many of her projects she uses DIY bio/technology that she develops and integrates in collaboration with fab labs and university research labs. 3. She challenges conventional forms of artistic expression by combining traditional media with living organisms (mainly bees, bacteria and algae). She focuses hereby on the process, working with organically evolving elements and generating an art that creates itself. These 3 action areas translate into 3 long-term projects: Connected OpenGreens, Bee Agency and the Lab for Form and Matter.
AnneMarie was a fellow in international art/science programs, has written articles and academic papers and has published several publications on her work. She realized artworks commissioned for public space, as ‘Closed Circuits’ (Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Brussels) and ‘Elbe Bienen’ for the art in public space program of the city of Hamburg (De). She was awarded several prizes and mentions in prestigeous festivals as Ars Electronica among others. AnneMarie Maes has exhibited widely as a solo-artist and in group exhibitions in prestigious musea, galleries, public spaces and art-science festivals in many EU countries, the Americas and Asia.
Key museum exhibitions include at Bozar (Brussels, BE), National Arts Museum (Latvia), Borges Cultural Center (Buenos Aires, Argentinia), Domeinen (Sittard, NL), Science and Technology Museum (Milan, IT), Museu do Amanha (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil), Fundacio Miro (Barcelona, ES), Haus der Elektronische Kunste, (Basel, CH), IMAL (Brussels, BE), IKOB Museum of Contemporary art (Eupen, BE), Laboral (Gijon, ES), Museum for Art and Architecture – MAAT (Lisbon, PO), amongst others.
Important festival participations include Ars-Electronica (Linz, AU), Transmediale (Berlin, DE), Mirage Festival (Lyon, FR), PIKSEL (Bergen, NO), Resonances (Ispra, IT).
Gallery shows include at Sapar Contemporary Art (New York), Silva Zona (Korcula, Croatia), Koç University Gallery (Istambul), Skolska Gallery (Prague), PILAR Free University Gallery (Brussels, BE), Wissenschaftskolleg (Berlin,BE), Emergent (Veurne, BE), SongEun ArtSpace (Seoul, South Korea).
AGENDA 2022 – 2023
20/01/2022: KI CULTURE: Valentina Bianchi interviews AnneMarie Maes for KI, Amsterdam.
16/02/2022: EMBODIED BODIES, a workshop for PARTS-students
18/02/2022: BEE AGENCY: AnneMarie Maes talks about her project on Duuu Radio, Paris
24/03-07/04/2022: CONNECT2NATURE: workshop series for 2Spaces (Arteconomy & iDrops)
12/04/2022: RENCONTRE ART|SCIENCE, UNIL/La Grange, Lausanne
03/06/2022: a BEE is a BEE is a BEE.. Performance Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
10-19/06/2022: HORTUS CONCLUSUS dans Heures Sauvages, Centre Wallonie Bruxelles|Paris
19/06/2022-29/11/2022: The TRANSPARENT BEEHIVE in Biotopia. Le Pavillon, Namur.
27/6/2022: residency #1 University Strasbourg Lab Microbiology X Kunsthalle Mulhouse
6/7/2022: Presentation HAMBURG MACHINE PUBLICATION, Hamburg
6/8/2022: ENTANGLED LOVE, performance in a Seat for the Sea #5, TAZ 2022 Oostende
12/9/2022: SONG OF THE BEES residency at TextielLab Tilburg (Nl)
10-25/10/2022: CYFEST-14 festival, Yerevan, Armenia
19/11/2022: Leonardo Laser / ASU-Cyland talk at EMERGE Festival, Arizona State University (USA)
20-25/11/2022: residency #2 University Strasbourg Lab Microbiology X Kunsthalle Mulhouse
01/12/22-04/12/22: residency and presentation at Mateus Labs (Vila Real, Portugal)
16/2/2023 – 30/4/2023: ALCHIMIA NOVA. Solo expo Kunsthalle Mulhouse (Fr)
17/3/2023 – 15/4/2023: gallery show at AHWNN, Oostende
17/3/2023 – 8/5/2023 SYMBIOSIUM / Cosmologies speculatives, expo + performance CWB/Paris hors les murs at Fondation Fiminco
30/4/2023: Colloque Art/Science at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse
05/4/2023 – 24/06/2023: EDEN WORLD au BelOrdinaire, Pau (Fr)
13/4/2023: Conférence gustative at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse
17/04/2023 – 23/04/2023: workshop 1 at Mateus Labs (Vila Real,Pt)
27/4/2023: Closing performance at Kunsthalle Mulhouse
16/5/2023 – 21/5/2021: ISEA2023 Paris (Fr)
18-19/05/2023: Colloque Ocean/Espace/Ocean – Makery Paris, as part of ISEA2023
23/5/2023 – 29/05/2023: workshop 2 at Mateus Labs (Vila Real,Pt)
02/06/2023 – 04/06/2023: Festival de l’Histoire et de l’Art, Chateau de Fontainebleau (Fr)
04/07/2023 – 10/07/2023: workshop 3 at Mateus Labs (Vila Real,Pt)
03/12/2023: Garden of Knowledge for Bildnis in MuZee, Oostende
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