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Nobel Prize Museum to show how art and science explore fungi

Friday, September 29, 2023

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Humans have always been fascinated by mushrooms. They are all around us and inside us, but most often remain invisible.

Tomorrow, a new exhibition opens at the Nobel Prize Museum that shows how art and science explore fungi. Design objects, works of art, fashion and contemporary scientific research are exhibited side by side.

“There is a great contemporary interest in mushrooms,” says Erika Lanner, museum director at the Nobel Prize Museum. “By creating a thought-provoking encounter between art and science, we continue to work with an approach that was also the basis for our attention-grabbing exhibition about eternal life that was shown at Liljevalchs last autumn.”

Carsten Höller’s sculptural toadstools are placed next to Anna Dumitriu & Alex May’s yeast manipulations. The monumental video installation Sanctuary Of The Unseen Forest by Marshmallow Laser Feast can be experienced next to illustrator Joanna Hellgren’s newly created comics. And Daniel Del Core’s mushroom-adorned dress, created for the artist Björk, occupies its own stand.

In recent decades, research has given us new knowledge about these organisms and their role in nature. But also how their properties could be used in everything from the development of new medicines, to building materials or clothing.

“During the work, it has become clear how new insights have also created new questions – the mushroom world is still full of mysteries that remain for science to solve,” says Karl-Johan Cottman, who is the curator of the exhibition.

The visitor will also be able to enter the literary world of Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk, which teems with mushrooms. In his book Day house, night house, she states: “If I were not a human being, I would like to be a mushroom.” It is also possible to learn more about Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming’s working methods. In the 20s, he discovered that certain bacteria stopped growing when they came into contact with molds, something that later led to the development of penicillin.

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