William Herrod-Hempsall, Bee-Keeping new and old: described with pen and camera (London: The British Bee Journal, 1930)
On the 26th January 2024, Apian will open its first major institutional solo show at C/O Berlin. This is part of the C/O Berlin Talent Award 2023 which was awarded to Apian last year. The show will focus on a new project called Bannkörbe, which stems from Apian’s long-term research on the history of beehives.
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Called spellbinding hives in English, Bannkörbe are a unique form of apian technology prevalent in Northern Germany between the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. These hives, also known as Immenwächter or guardians of the bees, were rare and beekeepers usually owned only one at a time. They were strategically placed in the apiary to ward off the evil eye and protect the bees. The distinctive feature of these hives was the incorporation of carved masks representing local beliefs. These apotropaic hives, often depicting demonic faces, served as a means to cast spells and ward off bad spirits. Today, this tradition has largely vanished, and only a small number of artefacts remain, preserved in local museums across Germany. Bannkörbe, therefore, indexes these remaining Bannkörbe, amounting to a total of 59. By preserving and shedding light on this ancient apian belief, this study seeks to stimulate reflection on the enchanting power of technology.
[H-0425] Bannkorb. Provenance: Heimatbund Museum Soltau, Germany. Apian (Aladin Borioli) 2023.
As part of the Talent Award, Apian will also launch its second book published by Spector Books and C/O Berlin. Mixing archival material, an introduction written by myself, an essay by Bas Blaasse who received the 2023 theorist C/O Talent Award, an interview of Apian, and the complete collection of Bannkörbe, the book is an extension of the research on display in the exhibition. It raises questions about the beliefs behind these specific hives and beekeeping practices in general. Bannkörbe is also bilingual, in German and English.
Later, the show will travel to Munich and is expected to tour further. Exact dates and locations will be announced in due course, so that will be for our next newsletter.
The C/O Berlin Talent Award is made possible by the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of the people involved in this project and who made it possible, thank you.
Press materials: https://www.co-berlin.org/en/press/press-material-aladin-borioli