Theresa Weber
Universe Of The Hybrids
16 February – 28 March 2024

The artistic practice of Theresa Weber (1996, Dusseldorf) resides at the cusp of material and theoretical research as she consciously unweaves dominant or homogeneous systems of power. In Universe Of The Hybrids, she transforms Bungalow into a cosmos of unfixed and ever-changing identities by petrifying figures from the past, each composed of two or more different biological origins. The result remains untethered to a single place to express how culture has always been subject to change and that identity is never rigid. 

In a prose piece annotating a poem through a comparison between constellations and the body, Eritrean-American poet Aracelis Girmay writes, “How large we are. How ramshackle, how brilliant, how haphazardly & strangely rendered we are. Gloriously, fantastically mixed & monstered.”1 Theresa Weber picks up on a similar fantasy, unearthed in the stories of the past, and positions her own bi-racial identity within the long and spoken lineage of human history.

Ten silicone reliefs crafted into portraits of hybrid figures from various cultures line the walls. Many of the figures (like the Bastet, Sphinx, Chimera, Medusa) have strong connections to the African continent or Ancient Greece. Crystallized behind a sheer surface, the drawings of hybrid figures are surrounded by irregular patternations of acrylic nails, piercings, and beads. Markers of Black identity, femininity and social performance, these elements become subversive tools that modify the body through artificial means. These are all set against a custom wallpaper that traces the lineage of the individual drawings through their tangible artifacts – the material history remaining visible. Its black background was chosen to resemble outer space and the universe’s infinite potential for healing, mythology, creativity, and hope; it is as if the viewer were looking at darkness as the source of all life. 

The mixed-media portraits all cluster around the four-meter-tall fabric sculpture titled Cosmic Entanglement Of The Blue (2024), where the color blue’s association with fertility and femininity is explored. The color also hosts associations with spiritual healing and desires wished upon the ocean or the sky. Cascading down the center of the room, the blue fabric elements hang like bobbled and braided hair. For the artist, the tying of the fabrics and fanning of material are reminiscent of the Caribbean Carnival celebrations, an affirmation of freedom that resists being overlooked. Like a floating landscape, the textile sculptures explore the physicality of belonging. Permeable and plasmic, the piece is a meeting point for tradition and memory that extends itself into a hyper-moble and unfixed state of being.

A final, large painting embellished with Weber’s own fingerprints on silicon engages with the discussion that Ludwig Van Beethoven may have been bi-racial, a fact likely hidden or forgotten due to racist power structures in Europe. Titled From The One To The Universe (2022), the mixed-media artwork addresses whitewashing throughout history by becoming an archive that mixes scans of Beethoven’s skull with fingerprints left by the artist. Proportional in height to Weber and dented with hundreds of her small impressions, the piece presents membranes of various textures using mosaic stones, artificial nails, pearls, synthetic hair, clips, and corals as a way to speak of Afro-German legacy. The result is a free-flowing geometric form that goes beyond representing just one body, “From the one to the universe” in motion. 

Universe Of The Hybrids contains an intricate body of work, a fusion of sensation and intellectual exploration, using texture, color, structure, and process to explore history (and hidden histories) across more than one geographic area. The abundant network of cobalt, gold and pearl highlights the vast multiplicity around us. Set against an ever-globalizing world, where boundaries of culture continue to mix, this exhibition gathers stories from the past that already welcome the hybrid nature of life. With her exhibition, Theresa Weber carves into the soft edges of belonging and the contemporary afterlife of mythos. 

1. Aracelis Girmay, “New American Poets: Aracelis Girmay”, Poetry Society, n.d., online.


Theresa Weber (1996, Dusseldorf) lives and works in North Rhine-Westphalia and London.  

Through multi-disciplinary installations and collaborative performances, the artist seeks to question existing power hierarchies and fixed categorizations. With a dynamic approach, her works often refer to existing mythologies and historical research fields, which are communicated through dense collages and sculptural networks. These are mostly made out of culturally loaded materials that engage with the body from an anti-colonial perspective and reflect on hybrid identities. Her practice exemplifies the constant transformation within every tradition, which is represented through contemporary body-marks and archival techniques. In a field between transparency and opacity, Weber’s practice creates space for strength and resilience through nuance and fragility.

Weber has had solo shows at Dortmunder Kunstverein (2021) and Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne (2021). In 2023, Somerset House in London invited her for her first public commission, which closed earlier this year. Her work is currently on display at The Art House Wakefield, Kunstmuseum Bochum, and Kunstverein Gelsenkirchen. In 2024, she will have a solo show at Kunstmuseum Bochum and at Neun Kelche, Berlin.

Photos by Marjorie Brunet Plaza