Mar 02, 2023

Experiencing our link to the living world rather than believing in our super-powers

Von Sinnen – (Un)Common Sense – the new exhibition at the State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe reveals the often extraordinary senses that plants and animals use to survive and for their everyday needs.

Chameleons do not change their colors to camouflage themselves but to express their moods. © M.-L. Even

While plants and animals have are different perceptions of reality to ours, we have a shared struggle for survival. The exhibition Von Sinnen – (Un)Common Sense – suggests we experience our link to the living world through the senses, according to four situations: finding our way, feeding, communicating, and finding a mate.

Through a self-reflective trail, the visitor is forced to take the super-sense of a plant or an animal to confront a challenge. Here’s an example: “You’re at a party and you meet someone who you like a lot. To attract this person’s attention, would you release an alluring scent, sing a complicated series of notes, or send light signals?

Throughout the exhibition, the visitor accumulates the characteristics of a hybrid beast. At the end of the trail, they are invited to bring the entire beast together, in the manner of Professor Revillod’s universal bestiary.

Preview of a creature drawn by a young visitor who participated in the Von Sinnen exhibition game. © M.-L. Even

Your essentials for everything you need to know about the exhibition Un(Common) Sense:

General article about the exhibition: here.

Museum website: here.

◉ Exhibition blog: here.

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