SUPERNATURAL – In the Same World
Oulu Museum of Art 29.5.–17.10.2021

SUPERNATURAL is an international exhibition of contemporary art. Its core is formed by hyper-realistic sculptures. The extreme realism that started in American art of the 1960s, then spread through the world and evolved into different styles, is characterised by a combination of authenticity and strange and breathtaking attention to detail. SUPERNATURAL explores the dimensions and potentials of embodiment. In addition to sculptures, it features a number of video works and a series of photographs.

A balanced relationship between humanity and nature is a precondition for all human existence. The impacts of technological development that followed the industrial revolution have been numerous – and often unpredictable. According to many of today’s researchers, humanity itself has become an evolutionary force that shapes life on Earth. The future is full of possibilities and threats, but the trends are rarely just black and white.

SUPERNATURAL focuses our thoughts on our existence in the world, on humanity and on its future together with all living and non-human creatures. The artworks by more than thirty artists pose questions and explore the following notions with their artistic freedom: Who or what will we become? What will our bodies look like in the future? How will the nature react? What effect will technological development have on our mental states?

Contemporary artists constantly turn to the world of science and research for inspiration. Some of the artists featured in exhibition also collaborate with researchers by working in multidisciplinary teams or forming artist-researcher duos. Many have found useful perspectives in natural science and technology, while others reflect on the thoughts of their fellow human beings on a more general philosophical level. Genetic engineering and artificial intelligence already make it possible to modify nature, animals, plants, even humans. Technological innovations, such as 3D printing, robotics and synthetic biology, have influenced the ways the artists work: their materialities, expression, themes and subjects.

The exhibition features artworks by the following artists:

Banz & Bowinkel (Friedemann Banz & Giulia Bowinkel), Hicham Berrada, Lee Bul, Anne Carnein, Anna Dumitriu & Alex May, Anna Estarriola, Isa Genzken, Glaser/Kunz (Daniel Glaser & Magdalena Kunz), Thomas Grünfeld, Sam Jinks, Krištof Kintera, Josh Kline, Peter Land, Lucia Leuci, Goshka Macuga, Reiner Maria Matysik, Maurice Mbikayi, Fabien Mérelle, Patricia Piccinini, Santissimi (Sara Renzetti & Antonello Serra), SUPER VIVAZ (Lina Baltruweit & Johannes Breuninger), Maija Tammi, Anna Uddenberg, Andro Wekua, Pinar Yoldas.

Exhibition concept: Nicole Fritz, Kunsthalle Tübingen

Curated by: Elina Vieru (Oulu Museum of Art), Maximilian Letze (Institut für Kulturaustausch)

In collaboration with: Institut für Kulturaustausch


Experience and explore art with children

The Muksuboxi activity boxes are designed for families, day-care and pre-school groups to provide some extra inspiration for museum visits. The boxes are available free of charge on the first floor of the art museum to be taken with you on your tour of the museum. They contain all the instructions and materials for activity-based exploration of four different artworks with children. There are three boxes available, and they can be booked in advance for your visit – for a day-care group, for example – from our customer service.

Bottila (“Bot Space”) is a space where you can explore how to make visual traces using kinaesthetic and programmable devices. Traces and marks can be made in many different ways – by yourself or by using mechanical devices or instruments. Are visual traces left by machines as valuable and significant as those made with your own hands and movements? Could mechanical devices replace the human element in creativity and in the making of visual marks and traces? Could the collaboration perhaps give rise to novel, previously unseen ideas? Explore and see what you can do.

The bot space is open free of charge every day from 1 to 2 pm and from 3 to 4 pm, with an additional hour from 11 am to noon on Saturdays and Sundays. The number of participants is limited to coronavirus-safe numbers. You can also build your own drawing robot for €5.


Top: Sam Jinks, Doghead, 2008, silicone, human hair, fur, Courtesy of the artist and Sullivan+Strumf, Sydney/Singapore. Photo: Graham Baring
Banner: Isa Genzken, Schauspieler III, 3, 2015, mixed media, 9 mannequins, Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo: Axel Schneider, Frankfurt am Main

Anna Dumitriu & Alex May, ArchaeaBot: A Post Climate Change, Post Singularity Life Form, 2018, 3D-printed underwater robot with AI-controlled neural network, Anna Dumitriu and Alex May. Photo: Vanessa Graf /Ars Electronica

Fabien Mérelle, Butterfly in my mind (detail), 2013, silicone, resin, paint, hair, fabric, Courtesy of the artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery

Anna Uddenberg, Savage #7 (zero g), 2017, mixed media, Aldala Collection of Diamond-Newman Fine Arts LLC. Photo: Gunter Lepkowski