In the course of their artistic collaboration, Matthias Böhler and Christian Orendt are increasingly concerned with the tragic, comic or absurd political and ecological consequences of mankind’s influence on the fate of its environment. As their distinctive artistic approach to this issue Böhler & Orendt adopted a method that could be dubbed as hybrid media storytelling: Freely using various mixed forms of graphic, digital, sculptural and performative techniques as well as scenographic or model making practices they are creating a more and more complex cosmos of installative narratives that are often intertwined or based on each other.
The exhibition “The Wild, the Furless and the Spirit of the B.U.D.” circles around a narration about a fictitious supernatural vessel, the “Benevolent Utopization Device” (B.U.D.). The story was originally invented for a large eponymous installation commissioned by the Neues Museum Nuremberg for a group show in early 2020. The current exhibition further advances this fiction with further works. The newest of those, a series of overpainted digital photo collages, titled "The Sweet Certainty of Deliverance from the Darkness that Surrounds Us“ forms the core of the solo show at 68projects: On nine vibrantly colored painterly depictions, the artists tell a quixotic tale: about how humans lost affiliation to their animal kin by falling off the tree of life, how they consequently developed an unnatural aspiration for dominance and destruction and how at last animal-hood was supposedly given the opportunity to remove the furless bullies from the planet it had to share with them so far. Being taught how to do this by a miraculous spirit, the animals learn how to build a mysterious pytomorphic capsule that can take in the whole human population of the earth at once and subsequently take off to an undefined destination, far away in time and space.
The other works in the exhibition are either directly derived from the same narrative or resounding its dark anthroposceptic undertone: While the cyborg-like video sculpture “B.U.D. – Personal Unit”exhibition appears to be a technical gadget that comprises a condensed version of the spirit of the B.U.D., the so called “Hôpital des Abeilles” originates from a series of works called “Against all the Cares of the World.” The dollhouse-like architectural model depicts in an affectionate, seemingly naive way, how sick honey bees are being taken care of by sedulous wood ant nurses. “In Arborous Rescue Endeavor 3” from the installation “The Lichterfelde Club of Hope”, a piece of dead wood is laid out in an abandoned display cabinet from the currently closed Berlin Botanical Museum to pose as a slightly neglected and obviously hopeless intensive care patient.