After the exhibition ‘Empathic Systems’ at Frankfurter Kunstverein (2019), AKINCI is proud to present the moving animals of artist – inventor Theo Jansen (The Hague, 1948). Theo Jansen is known for his beach animals: large kinetic sculptures, made almost entirely out of PVC pipes. Jansen’s creatures are reminiscent of archaic skeletons that live aesthetically somewhere between biomorphic and inorganic forms of growth. AKINCI shows three beach animals as well as drawings and ‘fossils’, to provide insight into the exceptional combination of emotional expressiveness and technology Theo Jansen brings toge- ther in his oeuvre.
Jansen studied physics at the Delft University of Technology from 1968 to 1975. Driven by his interest in unconventional technical constructions and the mechanism of evolution, he develops as an artist. Throughout his oeuvre, Theo Jansen developed a deep understanding for the principles of life and the evolution of species. Slowly his beach animals came to life, initially intended to solve the danger of rising sea levels by moving grains of sand from the bottom of the beach to the top. It started with the Anima- ris vulgaris (1991), the common (vulgaris) animal of the sea (maris). Later generations of beach animals moved on the energy of wind, moved grains of sand, developed ingenious walking patterns and eventually could run independently on air pressure in PET bottles (‘stored wind’). To give an example: there was the Sabulosa (1994) who had four fins and was able to dig and the Umerus (2009), the suicidal animal that re- gularly broke its own backbone. At AKINCI the Animaris Ordis (ordinary beast) from the Cerebrum (period of the brain, 2006-2008) will be shown, alongside the Animaris Uminami and Animaris Chalibs, both from the Bruchum (era of the caterpillars, 2016-now).