In his art, the South Tyrolean artist Thomas Feuerstein (born in Innsbruck in 1968) deals with the mediatisation of reality, the artificiality of the real and the relationship between virtuality, mediality and reality. Feuerstein’s work questions and interprets mediatic and biotechnological interventions and manipulations as identity and reality construction exercises. The artist captures social oppression, mediation and artifice, by comparing biological and sociopolitical processes, and points out the interference between politics and biology, culture and nature, by thematising the media structures of the so-called real and the biotopic structures of the so-called natural as issues linked together. The title of the exhibition, Fiat, expressly conceived for the Galleria Museo, refers both to the Latin word “fiat”, taken from the Bible passage “Fiat lux!” (“Let there be light”, Genesis 1,3), “let it happen!” or also “to be treated…“ (on medical prescriptions), and to the Italian car manufacturer, FIAT. The subtitle “radical individuals – social companions” wishes to underline the relationship between social and biological phenomena. The exhibition is composed of two elements that are combined in a modular manner, a mural work and a video projected in the front exhibition area. The exhibition area lying behind is dedicated to the “Biophily” project, in form of “biophilist room”, in the middle of which is the structure “Plus ultra: the artist as Avatar #29“. fiat operates with the aid of two metaphors taken from biology, the vegetative body of mushrooms or mycelium, as symbol of the radical individual, and the siphonophora, as emblem of a social meta-organism. His work “Leviathan”, which represents a siphonophora, refers to Thomas Hobbes’ work of the same name. The body of hydrozoans, which in nature is made up of thousands of polyps, in the “Leviathan” is made up of transparent crystals, unequivocally referring to the most ancient representation of society that pictures it as a crystalline net: Goddess Indra’s net. Society is viewed as a net formed by a multitude of single faceted crystals. It is only thanks to a reciprocal game of reflections that the individual is able to shine in the brilliance of collectivity. The work “Mycelium – radical individuals, social companions” exhibits a bioreactor in which a mushroom sprout develops. The mushroom acts as a “radical” individual, disgregating its environment in a parasitic manner, by subjecting it to a dissolution process.
The DVD FIAT (presentation on 11.04.03 at 7 p.m.) presents a video containing interviews with sociologists and experts in political matters. Furthermore taking the present crisis of the Fiat group as starting point, it deals with modernity and globality. Besides exploring sociopolitical themes, also technological matters are tackled, which, among other things, put forward a possible autoevolution of technoculture, thus placing fiat in a context of technologically generated life. The crystal-studded siphonophora is sponsored by Swarowski, the work Mycelium was created in collaboration with the Institute of Microbiology of the University of Innsbruck, the structure “Plus ultra: The artist as Avatar #29” was conceived with the support of the E+K Thoman Gallery of Innsbruck.