Leviathan: A Capitalocene Beastiarium

Leviathan: A Capitalocene Beastiarium

Artists: Yoav Admoni, Lisa Glauer, Tea Mäkkipää, Sybille Neumeyer, Jaanika Peerna, Moran Sanderovic, Kaethe Wenzel, Michael John Whelan.

Conceptualization and Co-curation: Tuçe Erel, Lisa Glauer, and Kaethe Wenzel

Venue: TOP Transdisciplinary Project Space (Schillerpromenade 4, 12049, Berlin)

Opening: 08 July 2021, 15:00-21:30

Exhibition Dates and visiting hours: 08 – 25 July 2021 | Thursday to Sunday, 15:00 – 20:00

Public Program on July 11th, 18th and 23rd.

Leviathan: A Capitalocene Beastiarium is a research-based exhibition project, which unpacks “human nature” and “law of nature”, inspired by Thomas Hobbes book Leviathan (1651)1 and  Capitalocene, a concept coined by Jason W. Moore and Donna Haraway. 

Hobbes’ Leviathan is recognized as one of the first texts to criticize existing power relationships, problems of collective violence and the instrumentalization of religion for the implementation of a class hierarchy. Leviathan represents capitalism’s giant systems, hierarchies, and infrastructures designed to mandate, oppress, and manage human and non-human beings and finally reinforce the anthropocentric position of humankind. Hobbes discussed the power of human masses, or collectives, and the constant aggression of humans against each other, which seems to describe the Capitalocene era. On the edge of the sixth mass extinction, ecological crisis, and the alienation of humans from the non-human world, Leviathan is still standing. It continues to expand – enlarging and invading the mind, society, politics, and natureculture. Leviathan is everywhere, we cannot see it, but we feel its breath at the back of our necks.

The exhibition criticizes the structures of capitalism and patriarchy in relation to Hobbes’ Leviathan and Capitalocene concept, which Moore and Haraway proposed against the Anthropocene era. The invited works are pointing to the destruction of the Earth’s ecologies through such systems. Positioning Kaethe Wenzel’s Leviathan (2020), the exhibition discusses these systems and their impact on social, economic, and ecological spheres.

The exhibition and public program is kindly supported by NEUSTART KULTUR and Fachbereich Kultur von Neukölln.

Hygiene Concept: TOP abides by the hygiene regulations set by the Berlin Senate. The maximum number of visitors at the same time is limited to 5 people. The pre-booking slot is strongly advised, but drop-by visits will be possible. When it is necessary, the hygiene concept will be updated on TOP e.V. website. 


1 Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. J. C. A. Gaskin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1651).


Public Program

The public events on 11.07 and 18 .07 feature curatorial talk, artists’ talks, lectures, and performances will take place at Tempelhofer Feld, located 5 minutes walking distance from the exhibition space, TOP Transdisciplinary Project Space. The closing event will be an online lecture and virtual exhibition tour on 23.07. The exact location at Tempelhofer Feld will be shared with registered guests via email. 

11.07

13:30 Welcoming & curatorial talk: Kaethe Wenzel, Lisa Glauer, Tuce Erel 

14:00 Kaethe Wenzel, artist talk and interactive performance with mechanic Bone-bots 

16:00 Artist Talk: Tea Mäkkipää & Sybille Neumeyer 

18:00 Jaanika Peerna, Glacier Elegy Berlin, performance at Tempelhofer Feld.

18.07

15:30 Welcoming

16:00 Artist Talk: Moran Sanderovich und Lisa Glauer

18:00 Yoav Admoni, The invention of nature, Lecture Performance at Tempelhofer Feld

Hygiene plan for Leviathan Public Program: The location at the Tempelhofer Feld will be shared with guests who are pre-registered, who agreed to share their the full names, telephone numbers and addresses or e-mail addresses. Contact details and the district or municipality of residence of all participants are recorded. This information will be collected via Luca App and kept encrypted. In the event of infection, the health department can use the list to quickly notify all potential contacts. The data must be kept for four weeks and then destroyed. All visitors must have a current negative Corona test (within 24 hours), complete proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery to attend the events. Visitors must wear a medical face mask when not in their seats.

23.07 / Online closing talk / Zoom and livestream via Youtube 18:00 – 19:30

18:00 – 18:30 – Welcoming and virtual exhibition tour.

18:30 – 19:00 The lecture of Dr. Olga Smith (University of Vienna) is titled Sublime in the Anthropocene.

19:00 – 19:30 Discussion and Q&AAbstract Sublime in the Anthropocene: In Hobbes’s political analogy, Leviathan overcomes the wolf-man, who symbolically represents the untamed state of nature. This lecture proposes to re-examine the hierarchical relationship established in this parable, by taking account of the epistemological challenges to the notion of nature and humankind posed by the emergence of the concept of Anthropocene. I propose to do this through the aesthetic category of sublime to designate a human-nature relationship predicated on renewed appreciation of nature as uncontrollable and potentially dangerous power.