Otavio Schipper
18 aug 202330 sep 2023

Otavio Schipper, Stills from The Game of Life, 2023

Betalt indhold


At SPECTA we are very happy to present The Game of Life, a solo exhibition showing new works by Brazilian artist Otavio Schipper. In a new film Schipper takes us onboard a visual journey in a flow of scientific imagery about our achievements in mapping, exploring and enhancing biology on a cellular level – The Game of Life*. Juxtaposing the film, the exhibition shows a series of drawings which playfully explore our psyche and the social dimensions of our lives.

With his film, Otavio Schipper nudges us to reflect on the transformative potential of technology, and the ethical considerations of transcending biological limitations. In mesmerizing sequences of visuals on microscopic level, the film presents examples of what scientists can see, understand and intervene with. In this way, the film serves as a catalyst for profound introspection, compelling us to contemplate the boundaries of our own existence and the possibilities that lie on the horizon of human potential.

The soundtrack is composed by musician Roberto Schilling and it employs repetitive patterns and gradual variations reminiscent of minimalist tradition. With a focus on texture and the simplicity of musical elements, the film invites the viewers to engage with its hypnotic patterns and gradual shifts, like a meditative journey.

As a contrast to the film, a series of drawings offer scenes from everyday life. With a skeleton as a reoccurring figure, we re-connect to historic technological achievements such as the railway and the telephone. By revisiting these means of connecting people socially through travels and communication we are reminded of our ability to adapt and engage in new ways of being in the world… but also of our need for interacting with each other and for expressing both our physical and our inner life. Between the film’s depiction of high level scientific insights and the easygoing everyday life expressed in the drawings, the exhibition seems to point to the delicate balance between extreme progress and preserving essential humanity.


Second edition of the booklet The Hermetschloo Papers with selected drawings is published in connection to the exhibition. The first edition was published in 2022 for Otavio Schipper’s exhibition Litany for Joybubbles at Kunsthalle Winterthur. SPECTA wishes to thank Thomas Zacharias and Joëlle Menzi for collaborating on re-publishing the booklet.

* The Game of Life, also known simply as Life, is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970. The universe of The Game of Life is an infinite, two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells, each of which is in one of two possible states, live or dead (or populated and unpopulated, respectively). Every cell interacts with its eight neighbours, which are the cells that are horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent. It is simple however descriptive of cellular level balance.

Otavio Schipper (BR, 1979) lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Originally trained as a physicist, the connection between art and science has been a focus throughout Schipper’s artistic oevre. He has exhibited widely across Europe, the US and Brazil, and he has been granted residencies at e.g. CERN in Switzerland and at The Max Planck Institute in The Netherlands and Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include Litany for Joybubbles at Kunsthalle Winterthur in Switzerland (2022), Sleeper at SPECTA (with Andreas Albrectsen, 2019), Golom at SHIN Gallery in New York (2018), Smoking Mirror, Schering Stiftung Project Space in Berlin (2015) and Elevator music / Fahrstuhlmusik, die raum, Berlin (2014). Group exhibitions: A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – An Intersection of Art and Science curated by Lara Pan, Jamestown Arts Centre, Rhode Island, US (2023), Pop-up show, Shin Gallery, Seoul (2019), Feito Poeira ao Vento, Fotografa na Coleção MAR, Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro (2017), Mirror Images, Kunstmuseum Thun, CH (2017), Switzerland (2017), Ao Amor do Público, Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro (2015), Mirror Images, Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité, Berlin (2015).

Dette indhold er produceret i samarbejde med et udstillingssted som en del af udstillingstedets Artguide-abonnement hos kunsten.nu.
Kunsten.nus uafhængige redaktion har intet at gøre med indholdet.


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Otavio Schipper
18 aug 202330 sep 2023


'Otavio Schipper'