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Exhibition opening in City Hall: the beauty of science

They took photos of pictures, texts, and names of scientists. Even while the exhibition “Arts & Science” was built up in the foyer of Hamburg’s City Hall the day before the official opening, visitors were already highly interested. Dr. Rolf Greve, Director-General, Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research and Equalities (BWFG) , President of Universität Hamburg Prof. Dr. Dieter Lenzen, Prof. Julia Lohmann (the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, HFBK) and Prof. Dr. Peter Schmelcher from the CUI board of directors attended the opening on Thursday, 1 June 2017, as invited speakers.

Opening of the exhibition “Arts & Science” in the foyer of City Hall. All credits: Peter Garten

“Thank you very much for the great research results, thank you very much for the public event,” Dr. Rolf Greve said. “We should try to do more in this direction, because we need such events to show the public how beautiful science can be.” Greve is certain that the visitors will perceive the pictures as eye-catchers and thereby get easy access to scientific stories.

From left: President of the University Council Prof. Albrecht Wagner, President of Universität Hamburg Prof. Dieter Lenzen, Director-General of BWFG Dr. Rolf Greve in front of Dr. Daniel Horke’s “Laser Donut”.

Prof. Dr. Lenzen drew a bow from German Romanticism and the attempt to capture nature to the 1960s, when pop artists tried to simulate nature, to the exhibition: here one could see a reverse process where science is visualized. “It is good that you are showing that a discipline like physics, which appears quite soberly at first glance, can look as it does.” He was curious to hear about people’s reactions and the value the exhibition might have for artists.

Prof. Julia Lohmann (HFBK) was involved in selecting the pictures.

Prof. Julia Lohmann, who was involved in selecting the pictures for the exhibition, answered immediately: “Art can make science understandable, while at the same time science enables art to work.” She described science as enhancing sensuous capabilities: “The overlap, as a common saying states, is WONDER: the desire to know something, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar.” In addition, the arts professor referred to a double take in the pictures. Looking at them from the distance, they can appear as textile structures, at closer inspection, however, they turn out as atomic dynamics, for example. Lohmann: “Moving closer is the beginning of an associative journey.”

Prof. Peter Schmelcher: “It is a privilege to be able to show the pictures in City Hall.”

Everyday life as a researcher is marked by pioneering spirit and scientific focus, only rarely by changing the point of view, Prof. Dr. Peter Schmelcher said. “If you get engaged, there is an incredible diversity,” Schmelcher emphasized. He really enjoyed bridgeing the gap between arts and natural sciences from the very beginning: “And it is a privilege to be able to show the exhibition in the foyer of City Hall.”

The exhibition runs until the morning of 15 June in City Hall; after that it will be shown at other locations. For further information view http://www.cui.uni-hamburg.de/en/events/arts-and-science/ or send an email to cui.office@cui.uni-hamburg.de. Text: Adler