Art Projects

The Syltfoundation develops and supports interdisciplinary art projects with artists from all over the world. Many projects are initiated as a collaboration of local artists and those, who are invited to Johannesburg and Sylt as part of the foundation's residency programme.


The Origin of Senses and Animals in Architecture.
An Exhibition by Matthias Holtmann, Sabine Scho and Andreas Töpfer

25th June - 17th September 2017
kunst:raum, Sylt Foundation
Hafenstraße 1, Sylt/Rantum (Germany)
vernissage on sunday 25th June, 11 a.m, the artists will be present

"No species on Earth can survive independently."

The poetic intervention The Origin of Senses by Sabine Scho and Andreas Töpfer took this notion by Charles Darwin as the starting point for investigating what it is like for different organisms to perceive themselves and the world around them through their senses.

There is no point in relying on common sense when exploring sensory perception in other species. The gateways for stimuli are as varied and yet often as similar as the species themselves. The way receptors are distributed and formed for light, temperature, balance, taste, smell, electrical voltage, as well as individual sensations such as position and movement in space, pain, and organ activity may differ from species to species, but ever more scientific studies are deducing the presence of such receptors in almost every living creature. The poems by Sabine Scho and the drawings by Andreas Töpfer enter into a dialogue with various animal perceptions.

For Sylt Foundation they adjust and expand their intervention originally composed for the Museum of Natural History (Museum für Naturkunde) Berlin.

Drawings by Andreas Töpfer

The exhibition is accompanied by the bilingual magazine The Origin of Senses and is available for 12 Euros at the Syltfoundation and at Do you read me?! (Berlin)

You can listen to the poems in German and English (translated by Ann Cotten) here:

Sabine Scho’s acclaimed project Animals in Architecture broadens the exhibition. It questions why and how animals are housed and caged by humans, including the last animal in architecture – us.

The book is available (only in German) at every bookstore for 19,90 Euros.

The Sylt Foundation is going to present from summer 2017 on - for the first time - the accompanying photos from the archives of Animals in Architecture, taken by Matthias Holtmann and Sabine Scho.


Sabine Scho

Sabine Scho, born 1970, is a German Poet published by KOOKBOOKS. After eight years in São Paulo she lives and works nowadays in Berlin. Her work is a crossover between art and poetry, science and language. She published three books with KOOKBOOKS: Album, Colours, Animals in Architecture and the magazine The Origin of Senses for an art intervention for the Natural History Museum Berlin (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin). She received several poetry prizes and grants for her work. Recently the Anke Bennholdt-Thomsen-Poetry-Prize 2012. She was writer-in-residence 2015 in Tampere/Finland.


Andreas Töpfer

Andreas Töpfer, born 1971, is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and drawing artist. He works for the Berlin publisher KOOKBOOKS, which he founded in 2003 together with poet and editor Daniela Seel. Besides others he worked as Art director, Designer and Illustrator for the Canadian Magazine ADBUSTERS, and is currently Visual Editor, Designer and Illustrator for the Norwegian Literature and Culture Magazine VAGANT. Currently he works at ATELIER:MILCHHOF in Berlin. His latest books: Speculative Drawing together with A. Avanessian (Sternberg Press) and The Origin of Senses with Sabine Scho (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin). His works belonged several times to The Best German Book Designs, and to the Best Poster Designs Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


Matthias Holtmann

Matthias Holtmann, born 1971, studied Biology, German Studies and Fine Arts at Timm Ulrichs’ class at the Academy of Fine Arts in Münster. Publications with Sabine Scho since 2008 – Colours and Animals in Architecture 2013 - as well as numerous artist portraits in newspapers and various print media. He heads the Max-Beckmann-Oberschule in Berlin today after the Colégio Visconde de Porto Seguro in São Paulo.