Dunja Herzog

How often do crafts fall into oblivion and are replaced by new, more efficient variants? Dunja Herzog addresses this question in the installation HUM IV. It is composed of three beehives made of bound straw. During the exhibition, three bee colonies find their nesting holes here. The baskets, which were developed in the European Middle Ages, are not very popular today: the most widespread are wooden boxes, which, with their inserted boards, are designed to extract as much honey as possible, but not to create an adequate dwelling for the insects.

Dunja Herzog's interest in the activity of beekeeping goes back to a residency in Johannesburg. There, together with the beekeeper Thembalezwe Mntambo and the ceramist Cosmas Ndlovu, the artist made various beehives out of fired clay. In South Africa, not only the handling of resources became an issue in the context of this artistic research, but also their distribution: even three decades after the end of the apartheid, over 70 percent of the land is owned by a white minority.

The beehives in the garden are expanded by the sound installation HUM, which recalls the buzzing of bees in the exhibition space. The sound was created with brass instruments - a selection of which can be seen in the same room - and in cooperation with various musicians.

Dunja Herzog wants to grant those objects that now function as sculptures a future use: after the exhibition, the beekeeper Sabine Mühle will continue to use the baskets.

HUM IV, 2022/2023, raffia, cow dung, clay, rye straw
HUM, 2022, mit Adey Omotade, Damola Owola de Dion Monti, Gugulethu «Dumama» Duma, Elsa M’bala, Grace Kalima N. / Aliby Mwehu, Jill Richards, Rikki Ililonga; audio, stereo
Jiggling Brass, 2018-2022, brass