Breathing Water, Drinking Air

Collection presentation

12.08.2022 - 25.06.2023
Opening: 11.08.2022, 4-9 pm

Extended until 16.07.2023 


Jan Albers, Sam Anderson, Gili Avissar, Maximiliane Baumgartner, Hicham Berrada, Julius von Bismarck, Katinka Bock, Andrea Bowers, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Alex Grein, Thomas Grünfeld, Petrit Halilaj, Nschotschi Haslinger, Camille Henrot, Anne Imhof, Allison Katz, Zsófia Keresztes, Per Kirkeby, Kinke Kooi, Corinne von Lebusa, Rosa Loy, Rosilene Luduvico, David Nash, Susan Philipsz, Laure Prouvost, Thomas Scheibitz, Anna Vogel, Raphaela Vogel


The Philara Collection is pleased to announce the opening of its comprehensive new collection presentation, Breathing Water, Drinking Air. To demonstrate its wide range and the diverse points of interconnection that stem from the exuberance and asymmetrical directions of a passion for collecting, works are juxtaposed in new correlations and with a specific theme. 


The presentation shows never previously exhibited works, while also offering new perspectives on those already familiar. It encompasses both international and local contemporary art, including photography, painting, video, sculpture, installation, and performance. Breathing Water, Drinking Air engages with reflection within and on nature, and the hierarchisation of humanity and nature. The thematic focus of the exhibition is on permeable boundaries, exchange and interaction, as well as nature’s capacity to act in times often termed the ‘Anthropocene’, where the relationship between humanity and nature has fundamentally changed. The precious and evocative resources of air and water represent here a world of unknown existences, as well as fundamental concepts that disclose new perspectives. Breathing and drinking are understood not only as activities essential for provision and survival but also as elements of the renegotiation of relations between humanity and the environment in overcoming anthropocentrism. Thus, the works on show also stimulate questions on new narratives, and sensitivity to our mutual connectivity and permeability. To what extent can we use artistic means to acquire new knowledge about our physical, biological, chemical, and spiritual world? What do these works reveal to us about our capacity to make contact and establish dialogue, and about our forms of coexistence?