Bernd Behr b.1976 in Hamburg, Germany, is a Taiwanese-German artist based in London where he studied at Goldsmiths College.
Works across various media exploring historical and speculative junctures between optics and architecture.
Behr´s work has been exhibited at Bloomberg Space, London, The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire, High Desert Test Sites, California and Chisenhale Gallery, London, with selected group exhibitions at Kadist Foundation, San Francisco, Para Site, Hong Kong, Storefront for Art & Architecture, New York, and ICA, London. Behr represented Taiwan at the 55th Venice Biennale, 2013.
Akeley Inside the Elephant enters a spatially and temporally ambiguous interior – part subterranean architecture, part hollow carcass – whose surface is continuously being covered with sprayed concrete by an industrial robot, as if constructing the very habitat that suspends it. Part of an expanded project tracing parallel trajectories of visual regimes through emerging technologies, the work considers a material future of images by inhabiting the particular history of sprayed concrete: Invented in 1907 by pioneering taxidermist Carl E. Akeley while working on a large display of African elephants at the Chicago Field Museum, Akeley went on to define modern dermoplastics and set the standards of natural habitat dioramas during his time at the American Museum of Natural History New York. It was during this time that he also invented a novel 35mm motion picture camera which was quickly adopted by filmmakers for field work, including notably Paul Strand and Robert Flaherty. While Akeley’s output has come to embody what French film critic André Bazin famously described as the ‘mummy complex’ at the heart of all filmic aspiration to realism, contemporary robotic applications of sprayed concrete may come to be the heir of a taxidermic urge to remake the world in its own image.