Kunstverein Freiburg, English Version

15 September – 29 October 2017

Vidokle Immortality and Resurresction Anton Vidokle, Immortality and Resurrection for All!, 2017, HD video, Photo: Ayman Nahle

In 1922, under the slogan ‘immortalism and interplanetarism’ the Moscow biocosmists called for nothing less than the immediate annulment of human life's temporal and spatial restrictions. Their beliefs followed the traditions of the Russian philosopher Nikolaj Fedorov, who saw, alongside the expansion into outer space, the overcoming of mortality as the central aim of mankind. He believed all of this to be achievable with the aid of science and technology. Under the care of the state, that would eventually become a museum, nature would be re-formed into a manmade artwork. In the early Soviet era theorists, scientists and activists seized upon Fedorov's ideas. The cosmists were united by their belief in a rational transformation of the given, which then finds its completion in the elimination of death and the conquest of outer space.

The development of artificial intelligence and biotechnology today once again fuels projects that deal with the abolition of the temporal restrictions of human life. Enterprises of this kind, which address the conquering of human limitations via technological means, form the core of current transhumanist ideas. It is therefore of no surprise that Calico–the California Life Company, a subsidiary of Alphabet Incorporated (previously Google Inc.)–has set itself the goal of extending human life. However, although the cosmists saw their most urgent demand of overcoming death as a ‘collective task’ for all mankind, many current transhumanist promises are developed under the premise of self-optimization.

The exhibition Immortalism brings together works by different contemporary artists, all of whom present different perspectives relating to visions, technologies, and ideologies of defeating death. The historical background of the exhibition is formed by the utopian program of eliminating human mortality as proposed by Nikolaj Fedorov and early Soviet era Russian cosmism.

Exhibiting artists: Ivana Bašić, Harm van den Dorpel, Cécile B. Evans, Pakui Hardware, Lina Hermsdorf, Kitty Kraus, Oliver Laric, Dominik Sittig, Anton Vidokle, Tchelet Weisstub

In the context of Russische Kulturtage
Logo Russische Kultur Tage

Promoted by Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Coordinated by Zwetajewa Zentrum
Logo Zwetajewa           


The exhibition is promoted by:

Logo Baden Württemberg    Mondrian Fund



Sat, 16 September, 3pm
Gutes Sterben – Falscher Tod / Immortalismus Guided tour with Heinrich Dietz and Finn Schütt, the tour begins at the Museum für Neue Kunst  

Wed, 20 September, 7pm
Werden wir irgendwann ewig leben? Lecture and discussion with Dr. Oliver Müller, Freiburg University, Philosophy Department, Excellence cluster BrainLinks-BrainTools, partner: Museum für Neue Kunst

 Thur, 5 October, 7pm
Guided tour  

Wed, 11 October, 7pm
Artists talk with Lina Hermsdorf and neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Stefan Rotter, Bernstein Center Universität Freiburg, Exzellenzcluster BrainLinks-BrainTools  

Sun, 15 October, 2pm
Children's workshop (registration is required)  

Tue, 17 October, 7pm
„Sterbliche aller Länder, vereinigt euch!” – Russische Projekte zur Überwindung des Todes, 1900–1930. Lecture by Dr. Michael Hagemeister, Ruhr-University in Bochum, Institute of East European History  

Sun, 29 October, 3pm
Curator's tour with Heinrich Dietz


Fri, 15 September, 7 pm
Introduction: Heinrich Dietz, director

Opening hours

Tue – Sun, 12 am – 6 pm
Wed, 12 am – 8 pm, Mon closed
Day of German Unity (open 03.10.)
Entrance: 2 € /1,50 € Thursdays free, Members free