CHAOSMOS Kunstmuseum Bochum 2024

Kunstmuseum Bochum

Processing the chaotic state of our world, this show is inspired by the theoretical concepts of cosmology, chaos theory and creolization.

Recurring symbols appear in her work, establishing cultural, historical and mythological connections, while Caribbean carnivalistic costume elements represent the ever-changing body and negotiate hybrid identities. The exhibition space becomes a “chaosmos” – an imagined deep sea and an infinite universe of diasporic origins. The darkness of these infinite dark spaces makes them a place of hope and fantasy; a healing and anti-hierarchical reality of chaotic order. In chaos theory, arrangements are unpredictable, but never random – everything stands in connection with each other. Goddesses become representatives of feminine strength, the four elements, mutability and the cycle of life.

Surrounded by textile networks that hang from the ceiling in tight knots like braids of a superhuman creature or tendrils of a “chaosmological” world, the landscape that Theresa Weber has created for the spacious exhibition rooms appears harmlessly beautiful at first glance.

The works combine complex narratives: Behind the supposedly fragile beauty lie hybrid identities, resilience, and the questioning of Eurocentric views. The idea that identity is composed of a single root, a single origin, has been the principle on which colonial hierarchy and exploitation have been based on for centuries. The Caribbean philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant contrasts this idea with the image of the rhizome (root mesh). Unlike the one singular root, which destroys everything around it, the rhizome does not take over its surroundings, but opens up infinite connections and manifestations as a network. Inspired by these thoughts and her personal biographical references, Theresa Weber interweaves mythological symbols with historical narratives emphasizing the state of life in a complex, chaotic world.

For her sculptural works, the artist draws on traditional techniques that have their origins in forms of community, such as weaving or braiding. The exhibition space, as a ‘chaosmos’, becomes both an imaginary deep sea and a cosmos of infinite relations. In chaos theory, arrangements are unpredictable, but not random. In Theresa Weber’s works, as in her large relief cartographies, the repetition of thoughts, symbols and forms is never exact; depending on the angle, repetition as a productive method leads to new perspectives time and again. With her first solo exhibition in a museum, Theresa Weber shows the broad spectrum of her artistic work, emphasising an understanding of history as incomplete and time as non-linear – everything is interconnected.