Laura Põld, Nika Kupyrova, Kristin Weissenberger
mud-mother#1 / Bathybius haeckelii
07.05. — 21.05.2021

Soft opening: 2pm - 7 pm

The exhibition can also be visited by appointment,
contact via phone: +43 69910124848

Finissage according to current corona-regulations: 21.05.2020, 2 pm - 7 pm

On May 7, 2-7 pm the exhibition 'Passepartout' by Daniela Zeilinger and Janine Schranz
will be open at hoast, Grosse Sperlgasse 25, 1020 Vienna


In 1868, while re-examining a preserved sample of mud he had collected several years earlier from the Atlantic seafloor, biologist Thomas Henry Huxley noticed that it now contained a transparent, gelatinous slime surrounding the remains of algae. Huxley thought he had discovered a new organic substance, which he named Bathybius haeckelii in honour of German biologist Ernst Haeckel, known for his theory of Urschleim ("primordial slime"), a protoplasm from which all life had presumably originated. Huxley believed Bathybius could be that protoplasm, a missing link between inorganic matter and organic life. He went on to assume that the substance formed a mat of living protoplasm covering the ocean floor for thousands of square miles, probably in a continuous sheet around the Earth. However, the marine research of 1872 discovered no such thing and soon after, Bathybius haeckelii was unequivocally proven to be nothing more than a reaction between calcium sulphate from the seawater and the alcohol used to preserve the original mud sample. The theory of primordial slime remains a scientific curiosity, yet was one of the early strong cases in support of an evolutionary origin of life from nonliving chemistry to biology.

Mud-mother is a project initiated by Kristin Weissenberger, which aims to foster collaborative situations and exchange, based on the idea of the shared facility. The ceramic workspace at the studios in Pappenheimgasse 37 functions therefore as a playground and framework for a joint examination and exhibition development.

previous exhibition